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XVI. THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY: A STUDY OF POLITICAL ANTI- 
MASONRY IN THE UNITED STATES, 1827-1840. 



By CHARLES MCCARTHY, Ph. D., 

Sometime Fellow in History in the University of Wisconsin. 

[The Justin Winsor prize of the American Historical Association was awarded to tht 
author for this monograph.] 



365 



THE ANTIMASON1C PARTY. 



By CHARLES MCCARTHY. 



PREFACE. 

The writer was first attracted to the subject of the Anti- 
masonic party through a study which he made of the Erie 
Canal in connection with a class conducted by Prof. F. J. 
Turner, of the University of Wisconsin. Since that time he 
has carried on the investigation wherever documents on the 
subject were to be found. These have been of such a miscel- 
laneous character as to require some description. 

Material. As the party I am about to consider had nt> Con- 
gressional career, the printed debates, etc., give us no inkling 
of its principles and progress. The journals of the various 
State legislatures, too, furnish us with but the slightest infor- 
mation, as the legislative debates are not printed except in 
the newspapers. Although a few books and pamphlets have 
been written in which matter relating to the movement can 
be found, yet they have treated the question almost wholly 
from the social rather than the political aspect and therefore 
give the coloring and not the substance. Nevertheless, there 
are a few sources of this nature which are particularly useful, 
such as Weed's Autobiography, Seward's Autobiography, 
and Hammond's Political History of New York. 

The newspapers, then, form the main contemporaneous 
sources of information. But as is true also in our own day 
this source must be used with the greatest caution. In deal- 
ing with such material, the political bias of every newspaper 
must be thorougly examined. This I have tried to do, and 
I have also used where possible several newspapers of differ- 
ent political affiliations in order to verify statements. 

As newspapers are ephemeral and difficult of access, 1 have 
often quoted at considerable length from them. In this way 
I have tried to illustrate the movement and show it in its true 
color. Considering the material, I believe this to be a more 

367 



368 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

truthful method than generalization because it gives the reader 
a chance to judge for himself as to the weight of a statement. 
Wherever possible 1 have used pamphlet material, almanacs, 
broadsides, and statements of old men who lived in the times 
described, in order to verify my coloring and to give the right 
setting. I have also visited personally nearly all the great 
centers of Antimasonic enthusiasm in order to examine the 
present-day feeling, the racial characteristics, and the eco- 
nomic and religious conditions of these sections. 

Method. I have tried to examine where possible into the 
economic, social, religious, and sectional basis of the move- 
ment. It is popular in making studies of these conditions to 
map the whole matter and reduce it to estimates, diagrams, 
and statistics. While the truth and accuracy of a great deal 
of this work is unquestioned, it is not entirely satisfactory as 
such a method does not admit of the elements of custom, prej- 
udice and irrational impulse or enthusiasm. Such a method 
describes but poorly the excitement, the bitterness, the per- 
sonal element, and the "hurrah" strength, which all go to 
make up any political movement. Such a method leads to 
dogmatic conclusions. It would be easy also to generalize 
and make my narrative clear cut, but it would not tell the 
whole truth. Movements like this do not start from one or 
two causes. The beginnings are often obscure and ill defined. 
The issues partake of a like nature. In fact, in order truth- 
fully to follow the trend of such a movement we must dili- 
gently show the changes in principles from time to time and 
in different sections, and give a picture of the wavering, halt- 
ing, confused nature of its growth. I have preferred this 
method for its truthfulness even at the risk of sometimes 
"not seeing the forest for the trees." 

I have divided my subject into five main parts, as follows: 

1. The movement in New York. 

2. The movement in Pennsylvania. 

3. The movement in all other States briefly considered. 

4. The movement in national politics. 

5. A short analysis of the fundamentals of the movement. 
My thanks are due to Prof. J. F. Jameson, of the Univer- 
sity of Chicago, and Prof. F. J. Turner and Dr. U. B. Phillips, 
of the University of Wisconsin, for helpful suggestions. 

MADISON, Wis., August, 1902. 



INTRODUCTION. 

The period in the history of the United States covering the 
years between the administrations of John Quincy Adams and 
William Henry Harrison has received much attention from 
American historians. It is a period full of interesting and 
striking events. The struggle over the charter of the United 
States Bank, the great money crisis, the personality and polit- 
ical methods of Andrew Jackson, the social and economic 
conditions of the time, invite attention and study. 

In spite of the great light thrown by historical research 
upon the period, it is nevertheless true that certain phases of 
the movements of the time have received but scant attention; 
and this neglect has tended to impair the value of research 
upon correlated matter. We have had, for instance, a great 
deal of discussion upon the origin of the national convention, 
and vet the fact does not seem to have struck the investigators 
that the party which made that political discovery first prom- 
inent deserves to be studied. It is strange, at least, that such 
an interesting movement as the Antimasonic party a move- 
ment with which some of the greatest political leaders in the 
history of our country have been connected should have 
escaped the attention of scholars. True, the Morgan mystery 
has received its share of attention, and historians have put it 
down as the main cause of this peculiar political organization; 
in fact, it is the practice of even profound historians to call 
the Antimasonic party merely an outgrowth of the mysterious 
disappearance of William Morgan. Americans are prone to 
create a political party out of anything, but a moment's 
reflection should convince us that a party having for its lead- 
ers men like Thurlow Weed and Thaddeus Stevens must have 
had its basis in underlying causes and must have been founded 
on stronger reasons than those which present themselves at a 
casual glance. A review of the political situation at the 
beginning of the period we have been considering reveals to 
us soil well prepared for political strife. 

It has often been said that the period previous to the elec- 
tion of 1824 was an "era of good feeling." A cursory 
H. Doc. 461, pt 1 24 369 



370 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

glance, however, shows the same divisions as existed previ- 
ously still existing. Although all factions had been appar- 
ently swept into the Democratic ranks, signs were not lacking 
that the party was not so thoroughly united as would appear 
at first sight. The Federalists, although dead as a national 
party, still kept up a feeble organization in many States. 
The radical Democrats had never succeeded fully in getting a 
firm foothold in New England or among the more conserva- 
tive classes in many other sections. There was still enough 
dread of Jacobinism in the North to keep many aristocrats 
from joining with the Jeffersonian party. 

It was but natural also that in a party so completely victori- 
ous, factions should have arisen. The reason for this is not 
hard to see the loaves and fishes could not be divided well 
among so many. Men were discontented because they re- 
ceived so little for their services. Sections were dissatisfied 
because they gained so little from their loyal support. In the 
distribution of improvements and in the benefits of the tariff, 
commercial, agricultural, and manufacturing districts could 
not all gain alike. The West and the South and the East had 
all different social ideals. The rich and the poor classes could 
not agree entirely. Religious and nonreligious elements were 
as far apart as formerly. All of these differences were inten- 
sified by the social upheavals of this remarkable democratic 
period. The result of the election of 182^ showed plainly 
that these divisions existed, and the election of Adams inten- 
sified and sharply defined them. 

In the State of New York, especially, differences had long 
existed over the Erie Canal question; and war between the 
supporters of the canal, championed by De Witt Clinton, and 
their opponents, the Bucktails, whose leader was Van Buren, 
had been carried on fiercely till 1826 when Clinton joined 
hands with his enemies a and left the canal supporters without 
a leader and practically unorganized. Such was the political 
condition of New York when the western part was startled by 
the disappearance of William Morgan. It will be readily seen 
that this incident happened at just the right time and place to 
stir up the excitement which, ably led and skillfull} 7 directed, 
soon developed into a sturdy young political party. 

a See remarkable letter in Weed's Autobiography, I, p. 376. See also Albany Evening 
Journal, Oct. 23; 1823. 



CHAPTER I THE MORGAN INCIDENT AND THE BIRTH OF THE 

MOVEMENT, 



The mysterious abduction of William Morgan and the ex- 
citement which followed it has formed one of the most singular 
and interesting pages in American history. Contemporary lit- 
erature and modern research for the curious and unusual has 
led to an immense amount of speculation as well as to heated 
argument and pamphlet controversy between the Masons and 
their opponents as to the cause and manner of Morgan's dis- 
appearance. But to the student of political Antimasonry 
who strives to relate the political effects of the incident, and 
not to delve into the question itself, the Morgan episode is 
merely incidental. With this fact in mind, and feeling as- 
sured that this phase of the matter has been sufficiently dis- 
cussed, the investigator may give the Morgan incident but the 
passing notice it deserves as the immediate occasion of the 
political movement which is the subject of this paper. 

William Morgan was an itinerant character who had even- 
tually settled in Batavia, N. Y. He had been a Freemason, 
but having become dissatisfied with the order, he resolved to 
expose its secrets. When this became known, he and his asso- 
ciates in business were subjected to a series of petty annoy- 
ances which culminated finally in his abduction in September,. 
1826. The remarkable trial of his alleged abductors elicited 
the greatest interest, not only throughout New York but 
throughout the Union. 

The startling reports which were circulated, together with 
the attitude of the Masons, soon worked the community into 
a high pitch of excitement. Rumors that jury and judges 
were under Masonic influence, and that the legislature too 
would do nothing of practical use toward bringing the offend- 
ers to justice, quickly brought about the belief in that locality 
that Masonry was incompatible with citizenship or Christian 
character and must be abolished. The newspaper controver- 

371 



372 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

sies, the heated arguments, the stubbornness and aggressive- 
ness of the Masons, the church condemnations of Masonry, the 
incipient riots, the charges and counter charges, together with 
the political conditions of the times, led, in 1827, to the first 
steps in the organization of the remarkable political party 
that we are about to describe." In February, 1827, meetings 
were held at Batavia, Bethany, and Stafford, and about the 
same time at Wheatland, in Monroe County, and it was re- 
solved to withhold support from "all such members of the 
Masonic fraternity as countenanced the outrages against Mor- 
gan." 6 Soon afterwards other meetings were held at which 
resolutions were passed withholding support from all "Free- 
masons. Efforts were made, with partial success, to keep the 
matter out of politics at the approaching town meetings; 
nevertheless the political organization spread rapidly in the 
general vicinity of Rochester. This city became the point 
from which, for some time to come, all Antimasonic move- 
ments, "whether of a judicial or legislative character, ema- 
nated. " c 

The matter was now brought before the legislature. Francis 
Granger, already one of the* leaders in the cause, brought for- 
ward a resolution petitioning the legislature to interpose its 
authority, as the courts of a single county were found inade- 
quate for the emergency. d The debates that followed show 
the degree of animosity which had been aroused, and also 
show clearly that Antimasonry was not only regarded by its 
opponents as a fanatical crusade, but that it was already sus- 
pected of having deep political significance an excitement 
aroused and controlled for political purposes by shrewd and 
.able leaders. On April 10, Mr. Root, the speaker/ referred 
to the excitement as something of merely political origin, 
special investigation being unnecessary. He said in the course 
of the debate: 

We read frequently of murders being perpetrated. Are committees of the 
legislature upon all occasions to be sent in search of the murderers? No, 

For fuller accounts see Weed's Autobiography, I, especially; also Seward, Autobiog- 
raphy, I; and Bancroft's Life of Seward, I; McMaster, History of the People of the United 
States, V. 

l> Weed, Autobiography, I, 242. 

<-Weed, Autobiography, I, 300. Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 378. 

<i Albany Argus (Democratic), April 5, 1827. See also Weed, Autobiography, I, 254. 

e Root was regarded as one of the most bitter opponents of the Antimasonic principles. 
See Adams, Diary, VIII, 441. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 373 

sir; but for the excitement, such a incusmv would not be thought of. Men 
are seeking to convert this subject into a political affair, and for the pur- 
po.se of excluding Masons from public offices. Masons are represented as 
setting your courts and your laws at defiance, * * * the object is to 
keep Masons out of office, and those who raise the breeze, to occupy the 
places of honor and profit, * * * to keep up the excitement, a memo- 
rial has been drawn up and presented to the legislature, and the projector 
of it, I venture to say, is an emigrant from the neighborhood of Boston. 

The resolution was defeated by a vote of nearly 3 to 1. 
Such an attitude could not but help the very cause which it 
tried to defeat, and the Jacksonian party, then in the majority, 
was thought by this action to have shown its complicity with 
the Masons. From the petty politics of the towns to the 
higher politics of the State government the Antimasonic pro- 
scriptions spread; and meetings were held every where, in 
which resolutions were passed advocating the support of 
purely Antimasonic candidates for the State legislature. 6 

The Adams party, alread}^ weak, now showed signs of drop- 
ping out of the coming election in the so-called " infected dis- 
tricts," and the central corresponding committee of Genesee 
decided to abstain from all participation in the preparatory 
measures for the approaching election/ This, and like 
actions, tended to drive the bitter and relentless nonmasonic 
opponents of Jackson into the only strong and vigorous party 
opposed to him, while the anti- Jackson Masons chose rather 
to support him than to go over to the hated opponents of 
Masonry.'' The amalgamation was helped along by the fact 
that Clinton and Jackson were both high Masons. Their 
recent political union was looked upon as another evidence of 
Masonic influence, and this fact stimulated the spirit of oppo- 
sition to both/' 

Antimasonic nominating conventions were held all over 
western New York in October and September,^ and so suc- 

n Albany Argus, April 12, 1827. 

''Albany Argus, July 4, 1827. 

f Batavia Spirit of the Times, quoted in Albany Argus, July 28, 1827. 

rfWeed, Autobiography, I, 301. The Antimasonic Jackson party, however, had a slight 
organization in the Twenty-ninth Congressional district this year. See Le Roy Gazette, 
Oct. 18, 1827. 

' Hammond, Political History of New York, II, pp. 380, 383. The account in Hammond 
is by Fred Whittlesey, one of the most active Antimasons. A great many of the Antima- 
sonic; leaders had been supporters of the Adams Administration. The " Morgan com- 
mittee," consisting of Works, Ely, Bachus, Whittlesey, and Weed, were, with the excep- 
tion of Whittlesey, supporters of the Administration. See Weed, Autobiography, I, 301. 

/ Albany Argns, October 10, 11, 1827. ' 



374 AMERICAN 'HISTOKICAL ASSOCIATION. 

cessf ul were the candidates nominated that " the results of 
the election," says Whittlesey, ''astonished all even the 
Antimasons themselves and opened the eyes of politicians to 
the growing power of the new party." a The Jackson papers 
admitted that the Antimasons had succeeded in electing 15 
members of the assembly. 6 The Adams vote was compara- 
tively light, and but 12 assemblymen of that party were 
elected/ The Antimasons, however, did not elect a single 
senator even in the Eighth senatorial district the hotbed of 
their cause. By a singular act of inconsistency and haste the} T 
had nominated a candidate in this district, but found after the 
nomination, when the campaign was in progress, that he was 
a Mason. The vote, however, was changed to the nominee of 
the " Bucktail" party in time to elect him by a large majority. 
In this manner they achieved a partial although unsatisfactory 
victory. d 

The results of the election encouraged the leaders to look 
forward hopefully to the year of the general election and the 
Presidential campaign. 

a Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 382. 

bChautauqua 2, Monroe 3, Otsego 2, Orleans 1, Seneca 2, Wayne 2, Yates 1. Albany 
Argus, November 23, 1827. 

c Albany Argus, November 23, 1827. Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 283. 

rf Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 384. This was characteristic of the 
Antimasonic party even in its later phase, and was often caused by the evident desire of 
the leaders to gain strength by sacrifice of principle or from the fact that in the outlying 
districts men of influence were nominated who were not avowed opponents of Masonry. 



( 1 HAPTEH II THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN OP 1828 IN 
NEW YORK, 



When the year of the presidential contest opened it was 
found that the Antimasonic party had increased in strength, 
for many Masons had seceded from the order and had avowed 
their belief that Masonry was an evil. These renunciations, 
together with the acquittal of some of the accused and the 
refusal of the legislature to change the mode of selecting the 
grand juries, tended to confirm the idea that the Masonic 
institution was " dangerous in a free government, subversive 
of political equality, and hostile to the impartial administra- 
tion of justice. " a 

In February of this year a convention of seceding Masons 
met at Le Roy, Genesee County. It denounced Masonry, up- 
held Morgan's Illustrations of Masonry, and sent a memor- 
ial to Congress upon the use made of Fort Niagara by the 
Masons as a prison for Morgan. 6 The publication of the 
proceedings of the convention in the papers throughout the 
country served as a most powerful stimulus to the new cause 
and made many converts. This meeting was followed by a 
convention at Le Roy on March 6, 1828. Twelve counties 
were represented, viz, Chautauqua, Orleans, Ontario, Erie, 
Monroe, Yates, Niagara, Livingstone, Seneca, Genesee, 
Wayne, and Tompkins. This convention urged the sup- 
pression of Masonry through the ballot box, and recommended 
the calling of a State convention at Utica in August follow- 
ing; it advocated the establishment of "free presses" and 
other means of spreading the "blessed spirit." At this con- 
vention Samuel Works, Henry Ely, Frederick F. Backus, 
Frederick Whittlesey, and Thurlow Weed were appointed 

Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 385. 

i> Weed, Autobiography 1, 256. See also McMaster, History of the People of the United 
States, V, 118. 

375 



376 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

a general central committee. These men, together with 
Timothy a Fitch and Bates Cook, remained upon the com- 
mittee through the most important years, of the Antimasonic 
party. 

The rapid growth of the excitement, and the vigorous 
means adopted, alarmed the Jackson party, and on March 18 
Lieutenant-Governor Pitcher urged the legislature to appoint 
a special commission to investigate the death of Morgan. On 
April 15 a bill for this purpose became a law, and Daniel 
Mosely of Onondaga was appointed commissioner. The 
motive of the sudden change in policy of the Democratic 
party is apparent. They had recognized the necessity of con- 
ciliating these Antimasonic elements before the approaching 
State and national elections, and their policy was altered 
accordingly. b 

Both parties now vied with each other in their efforts to 
win over the Antimasons, and the Adams party rested their 
only hope of carrying the State upon an alliance with them/ 
The Adams men had an advantage in their candidate, for it 
was known that Jackson was a Mason while Adams was not. 
Furthermore, custom and precedence strengthened this ten- 
dency, for the district which was now the stronghold of Anti- 
masonry had formerly been opposed to the Democrats. The 
basis of this opposition was economic, and, f ortunately for the 
Antimasons, there was enough of the opposition spirit still left 
to rally a strong force to any banner, whatever its emblem, 
that would lead against the hated opponents of the canal. 
Adams combined in himself the elements necessary for such 
a union of forces. 

The Jackson party, as soon as the sentiment in favor of 
Adams became apparent, sought to hold the ; ' coalition " up 
to public opprobrium. They loudly proclaimed that "the 
friends of the Administration in the western part of the State 
have been unwearied in their exertions to connect the public 
feeling with the Presidential question; and that they have 
spared no pains to contribute to the public agitation with that 
in view. This purpose has been steadily pursued by several of 

a Proceedings of Le Roy convention, Albany Argus, May 17, 1828. 

*>Weed, Autobiography, I, 258. 

c Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 386. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PAETY. 377 

the Administration members of Congress from that section of 
the State, and by their agents and tools in these counties. " a 

This effort was furthered by the attitude of the Masonic 
Adams men, as may be seen from the following extract from 
the Albany Daily Advertiser, the principal Adams paper of 
the time, referring to the Antimasons: 

Their persecuting and unhallowed principle- has extended itself to the 
Presidential contest, and the most disgraceful measures are now taken to 
make the Masonic question bear on that important election. It is said 
that one of the candidates for that office is a Mason, and therefore he must 
be opposed; that his opponent is not one, and therefore he must be sup- 
ported. To this course, we enter our strong and solemn protest. We 
know not whether Mr. Adams be a Mason, and we care not. We are in 
favor of his re-election, but we must despise ourselves did we desire to gain 
a single vote through the Antimasonic excitement, and we look with con- 
tempt, and almost horror, on those who endeavor to further his election 
by such means. & 

It was the great aim of men like Weed to quiet such grum- 
bling within the anti-Jackson ranks and to present a broad, 
united front to the enemy. Consistent Antimasonry was for- 
gotten by these ambitious leaders and carried out only by the 
lesser but more fanatical politicians, such as John Crary and 
Solomon Southwick, who henceforth with their followers can 
be called the only true, consistent, and uncompromising Anti- 
masons. 

The papers of the day accused Weed of intriguing with 
Washington, and of receiving money to start various Anti- 
masonic newspapers "in order to use the Morgan excitement 
for the benefit of the Administration party." Whatever may 
have been c the truth of it all, Weed became Adams's polit- 
ical manager in western New York. 6 * From this time he was 
looked upon by his opponents as the leader of a conspiracy/ 
He brought to his views some of the' brightest men of the 
Adams party in the State, as well as some of the most able 
politicians the country has ever seen. These men saw that 
the Adams, or National Republican party, had outlived its 
usefulness and could not hope to compete upon anything like 

a Albany Argus, April 5, 1828. 

6 Albany Advertiser, April 5, 1828. See also for similar opinions, Albany Argus, June 
4, extracts from Buffalo Journal. (Adams.) 

c Geneva Palladium in Albany Argus, May 7, 1828. 

d Weed Autobiography, I, ;-;). 303, 307. Weed was at this time editor of the Antimasonic 
Enquirer at Rochester. 

e Albany Argus, April 9, 17, and July 14, 1828. 



378 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

equal terms with the vigorous spirit of Jackson Democracy. 
In the words of one of these men, "The Administration party 
in this State is in the hands of men not able to steer it to a 
successful issue. Were it not for the Antimasons, 

they would not have a loop to hang a hope on." a 

These men fought and worked first and foremost for Adams 
and against Jackson, and they held Antimasonry as merely an 
excitement that might be turned to their advantage. They 
made the mistake, however, of being overconfident of their 
power to lead the excite populace blindfold whither they 
wished. They encountered many strong, zealous, and often 
fanatical men who would not be led in this manner; and they 
never completely quelled their discontent. Antimasonry in 
consequence at no time presented a solid front to the enemy. 

Signs of discontent with the leadership of men of the Weed 
stamp had already begun to appear. The Le Roy convention 
of July 4, 1828, passed the following resolution: 

Resolved, That whatever may be our predilections for the prominent 
candidates now before the public for the Presidency, and whatever part 
we as individuals may see fit to take in the national politics, we consider 
the same as entirely disconnected with Antimasonry, and of vastly para- 
mount importance; that the convention would view with undissembled 
feelings of regret, any attempt to render the honest indignation now ex- 
isting against the [Masonic] institution subservient to the views of any of 
the political parties of the day; that we do most unhesitatingly disclaim 
all intentions of promoting political principles. & 

Contrary to general expectations, however, the convention 
made no nomination for governor. This was looked upon as 
another of Weed's schemes, and it was asserted that he in- 
fluenced the convention to give the Adams .party a chance to 
nominate a suitable candidate to be indorsed by a later Anti- 
masonic convention. c 

Weed made strenuous efforts to unite the parties, and traveled 
rapidly from place to place reconciling differences and seek- 
ing in every way to combine the elements of opposition. He 
was accused, indeed, by his opponents of bargaining even with 
Masons. d In the light of subsequent events such a charge 
does not appear to have been without foundation. Weed's 



a A. H. Tracy to Weed, June 19, 1828. See Weed Autobiography, II, p. 321. 

b Albany Argus, July 14, 1828. 

clbid. 

d Albany Argus, July 14, Aug. 4, 1828. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 379 

plans were realized in part. The Adams convention which 
was held at Utica on July 23 nominated Judge Smith Thomp- 
son for governor, and Francis Granger, the legislative cham- 
pion of Antimasonry, for lieutenant-governor." But that 
arrangement did not satisfy the more bitter Antimasons, for 
Thompson, though not a Mason, was not a radical Antimason. 
To the enthusiastic opponents of Masonry the outcome of the 
convention seemed merely a trick to forestall their nominations 
and deprive them of a candidate of their own. b They therefore 
resolved to hold a convention and to present a ticket, and in 
spite of the utmost efforts of Weed this convention, which met 
August 4, resolved "to disregard the two great political 
parties, that at this time distract this State and the Union, in 
the choice of candidates for office; and to nominate Anti- 
masonic candidates for governor and lieutenant-governor. " c 
Mr. Granger, having not yet accepted the previous nomina- 
tion, was nominated as candidate for governor and John 
Crary, of Washington County, for lieutenant-governor. 6 * 

Mr. Granger was thus placed in a very difficult position. 
Both sides awaited his decision with anxiety. It was not 
until August 28 that, to the great indignation of the Anti- 
masons, he declined their nomination. He had spent the time 
meanwhile negotiating with Crary. Crary signified his 
intention of declining, but intimated that Mr. Granger, as 
the nominee for governor, should publish his declination first. 
This he did, but "Honest John Crary" did not carry out his 
part of the agreement/ 

The radical Antimasons, not entirely disheartened, deter- 
mined to have a candidate, and accordingly held another con- 

a Albany Argus, Aug. 4, 1828. Weed, Autobiography, I, pp. 302, 303. Weed says that the 
"delegates from the rural districts generally were for Mr. Granger" as governor. The 
reason he assigns for the nomination of Thompson was that the nomination of Granger, 
"avowedly to secure the Antimasonic vote, would offend so many National Republicans 
as to jeopardize not only the State, but the electoral ticket." Autobiography, I, pp. 302. 
303,304. 

b Hammond, Political History of New York, II, p. 387. Albany Argus, Aug. 13, 20, 1828, 

c Albany Argus, Aug. 13, 20, 1828. See also Hammond, Political History of New York, 
II, p.387. 

dHammond, Political History of New York, II, 388. Albany Argus, August 11, 1828. 

It was charged by the Jackson papers that Weed, who attended the deliberations, aided 
by John H. King, chairman of the Adams central committee, busily intrigued to prevent 
this nomination; but that a " large proportion of the convention saw the destruction of 
Antimasonry in the attempts of desperate political adventurers to connect it with the 
Presidential question. * * * They accordingly disappointed Messrs. Weed and King, 
and nominated their own candidates." 

< Hammond, Political History of New York, II, pp. 285, 286, 287. 



380 



AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 



vention at Le Roy on September T. a There the} T nominated 
a typical exponent of extreme Antimasonry, and at the same 
time a most picturesque figure in the history of New York 
politics Solomon Southwick author of Solomon South wick's 
Solemn Warning, the editor of the National Observer, a re- 
nouncing Mason, a broken-down politician, who had been a 
candidate several times before, and incidentally had been ac- 
cused of much corruption, and who was now an enthusiastic 
lecturer upon Antimasonry and upon the Bible. 6 



GRANGER 
SOUTHWICK 




Election for Governor of New York, 1828. 

Weed, seeing his plans completely frustrated by this last 
nomination, denounced it and withdrew his support/ He in 
turn was himself denounced by the Antimasons as a traitor. 
At a meeting of the Antimasons in Rochester, it was resolved 
"that the Antimasonic party in this county, has reason to 
fear that they have been betrayed by the men in whom they 

"Albany Argus, September 15, 1828. Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 389. 

l> Weed gives an interesting description of him in his Autobiography, I, pp. 43, 86. He 
represents him as full of quaint superstitions, often determining his actions by the toss of 
a coin. He was spoken of as a possible candidate as early as March, 1828, by the Anti- 
masons. (Albany Argus, March 14, 1828. ) He was henceforth with Crary, to stand at the 
head of the uncompromising Antimasons, bitterly opposed to Weed and his machinations. 

< Albany Argus, September 30, 1828. 



THE ANTIMASONIO PARTY. 381 

have most trusted, and that the recent course pursued by 
Thurlow Weed, in giving support to the Administration in 
preference to genuine Antimasonry, calls loudly upon genuine 
Antimasons to come out and act independent of leaders. " a 
Followers of Weed retorted "that the character of Mr. 
Southwick was such as to discredit any party at whose head 
he might be placed." 6 In view of this division, success for 
the State ticket was impossible. 

In national affairs, however, the Antimasons were drawn to 
Adams through the influence of a letter in reply to an inquiry 
addressed to him on March 31, from Canandaigua, by one 
Oliver Heart well, upon the subject of masomy. He replied, 
"I state that I am not, never was, and never shall be a Free- 
mason." In spite of his request the letter was made public, 
and immediately became a subject for heated political discus- 
sion. The Jackson papers produced affidavits to show that a 
political bargain was made wherein the Antimasons promised 
support because of this assurance. Numerous sworn state- 
ments were produced on both sides of the question as to the 
exact wording of the letter. The whole matter resolved itself 
into a question of veracity between the Antimason, Heart- 
well, on one side, and one Cutler, who claimed to have a copy 
of the letter/ The letter undoubtedly tended to unite the 
Antimasons of New York in support of Adams. d 

Meanwhile the excitement had increased as the election 
approached. Weed says: 

The feelings of the Masons, exasperated by the existence of a political 
organization which made war upon the institution of Freemasonry, became 
intensely so by the renunciation of Masonry by ministers, elders, and 
deacons of the Presbyterian, Methodist, and Baptist churches. The 
conflict therefore became more embittered and relentless, personally, 
politically, socially, and ecclesiastically, than any other I have ever par- 
ticipated in, and more so, probably, than any ever known in our country. 
Thousands of Masons, innocent of any wrong and intending to remain 
neutral, were drawn into the conflict, when all were denounced who ad- 
hered to the institution. On the other hand, the Antimasons maintained 
that the abduction and murder of Morgan resulted legitimately from the 
obligations and teachings of the order./ 

. Albany Argus, October 11, 1828. 

&Whittlesey's account in Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 390. 
c Albany Argus, August 6, 20, 1828. Adams was not at this time so radical an opponent 
of masonry as he soon became. 
d Weed, Autobiography, I, 302. 

e The term Presbyterian was often used to include Congregationalists at this time. 
/ Weed, Autobiography, I, pp. 302, 303. 



382 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

In the election the west gave a heavy vote for Adams; the 
counties of Orleans, Genesee, Niagara, Monroe, Livingstone, 
Ontario, Wayne, Erie, Chautauqua, including the "infected 
district," threw their votes for him. a Eighteen electors were 
chosen by the people of the State favorable to Jackson and 
sixteen in favor of Adams. This made a total of twenty for 
Jackson, when there were added the two electors chosen by 
an electoral college acting for the State at large. b Van Buren 
received 136,783 votes for governor; Thompson, 106,415; 
Southwick, 33,335. c 

In the senate the Antimasons were to have William H. 
Maynard. from the Fifth district, one of the most brilliant 
men the party ever produced a man of remarkable talents, 
whose bright promise came to an untimely end in the great 
cholera scourge of 1832. Hiram F. Mather was elected from 
the Seventh and George H. Boughton and Moses Hayden 
from the Eighth district. These men, together with seventeen 
assemblymen, were to constitute the first real legislative 
party of the Antimasons. d 

The election of 1828 gave new life to the party. The end 
of that year showed Antimasonry advanced to the dignity of a 
recognized political unit, but an organization as yet without 
well-ordered machinery. The great leaders like Weed, who 
were to hold the reins in the future, were unsuccessful in 
wholly affiliating the movement with the Adams interests in 
the State, especially in the gubernatorial issue. The great 
difficulties of the future had all presented themselves. They 
arose from the fact that it was impossible to get perfect har- 
mony between the extremists, who wished for nothing but 
the extinction of Masonry, and the machine politicians, who 
would manage this excitement to the interest of the old Adams 
party. Then, too, the Masonic Adams men, with their organ, 
the Daily Advertiser, formed an element which could not be 
mustered with complete success under the banner of Anti- 
masonry, and in the eastern and southeastern counties these 
men held stolidly aloof from any combination with the Anti- 
masons. Had all the supporters of Adams united on one 

a Albany Argus, November 18, 24, 27, 1828. 
& Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 289. 

c Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 290. Weed, Autobiography, I, 307. See 
also newspapers mentioned. 
dAlbanv Argus, November 18, 1828; Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 290. 



THE ANTIMASONIC TARTY. 383 

gubernatorial ticket, had not the Antimasons voted for South- 
wick and Crary, it is very probable that Van Buren and 
Throop would have been defeated." 

A considerable degree of success was achieved, however, 
in uniting these jarring elements to the support of Adams, 6 
although it is probable that the existence of the Antimasomc 
issue alienated from him a number of voters who would have 
been his supporters had not the cause been locally identified 
with the attack on Masonry. 



n Hammond, II, 289. Whittlesey, who was a Jackson man, does not hold this opinion. 
He tries to make out that Antimasonry sprang from both parties. It was to. the interests 
of the Antimasons to show that the party had no political basis in any old party move- 
ment, but sprang spontaneously from both. There is a grain of truth in this, but any- 
body who examines the roll of leaders of the party, the fundamental causes, the locality, 
the attitude of the Jackson party, the future career of Antimasonry, can not but come 
to the conclusion that it had its basis politically in the old opponents of Jackson and of 
the Bucktails. See Whittlesey's account in Hammond's Political History of New York, 
II, 391. 

ft Albany Argus, November 27, 1828; Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 391. 



CHAPTER IIl-REORGANIZATION AND GROWTH IN 1829, 



The unexpected strength shown by the Antimasons under 
the most unfavorable circumstances in the election of 1828 
encouraged them and discouraged their enemies. Thereafter 
the Adams party in New York was practically superseded 
by the new and vigorous organization, made up of the broken 
fragments of all parties. It was replaced, in fact, by an 
anti-Jackson party of discontent. Even the radical Anti- 
masons to a large extent deserted their quixotic leader and 
joined the new movement. However, Southwick and Crary 
were not entirely mollified, but continued to prove a thorn in 
the side of Weed and his associates. Again and again Weed's 
plans were frustrated and his designs exposed to obloquy by 
these doughty warriors who saw but one issue, and that the 
true opposition to the Masonic institution. 

The Democrats for a time did not cease to court the spirit 
which could be so dangerous in opposition. Governor Van 
Buren, astute politician, referred to the excitement in his 
January message to the legislature, as Whittlesey says, u ln 
terms of moderate commendation, and deprecated the perver- 
sion of the feeling to selfish and sinister purposes. It was 
evidently intended to convey the idea that the excitement 
created by a great and local cause was worthy of the people 
among whom it found existence; but its direction to political 
objects was unworthy of their good sense and intelligence. " a 
The efforts of Van Buren and the Democrats had little effect 
in diverting the movement, which had already become an anti- 
Jackson crusade. 

The Antimasonic convention which met on February 19, 
1829, marks a new starting point in the history of the party 
in New York. In the words of Bancroft: "Henceforth, until 



Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 392. 
384 



THE ANTIMASONIC PAKTY. 385 

the Antirnasonic decline set in, they carried on the most 
effective system of political propagandism that the State had 
ever known. " a It was all the more effective because the 
political nature of it was concealed by an outward show of 
Antimasonry with all its verbiage and prescriptive decla- 
rations. Their peculiar methods were exhibited plainly by 
the proceedings of the convention. In the first place, the 
jarring elements of the party were brought together. The 
seemingly repentant Weed was forgiven and once more was 
admitted as a delegate. Although Solomon Southwick opened 
the convention with a long address, yet it was such men as 
Weed, Whittlesey, Granger, Seward, Myron Holley, Maynard, 
A. Tracy, and Henry Dana Ward who were the most active 
men in the assembly. 

Resolutions passed the assembly to draft an address on the subject of 
the late Masonic outrages and on the principles of Masonry; on the nature 
and effect of Masonry on our civil and religious institutions; in relation to 
the truth of Morgan's illustrations; and of the exposure of the Le Roy 
convention; to enquire if any laws exist in this State relative to Masonic 
institutions, and if any application shall be deemed necessary for their 
repeal; to enquire if it be expedient to have a United States convention of 
Antimasons; to inquire if the wife of Morgan has the means of support for 
herself and children, and whether it is necessary to provide for her relief; 
to appoint a committee to inquire into the propriety of erecting a monu- 
ment to Morgan, etc. 

All of these resolutions passed. On Friday, February 20, 
it was resolved to hold a national convention at Philadelphia, 
September 11, 1830. b This last action aroused a furor of criti- 
cism from the Democrats. The Argus remarked: "That 
meeting is just preceding the next election for governor of 
the State. Nobody, we presume, suspects Mr. Granger of 
any intention to connect the two subjepts." c In the light of 
these events, and considering the character of the men then in 
power, it is very doubtful if Mr. Whittlesey was justified in 
saying that the proceedings of the convention " were similar 
to those of former conventions and directed exclusively against 
Freemason ry." * 

The Democrats described the objects of the meeting as 



a Life of Seward, I, 29. 

b See Albany Argus, February 21, 23, 1829; Albany Advertiser, February 21, 1829. 

c Albany Argus, February 23, 1829. 

d Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 392. 



H. Doc. 461, pt 1 25 



386 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

"fully disclosed in the lives and conduct of the leading dele- 
gates and in the tenor of their proceedings." The Argus said: 

Indeed it is no longer attempted to be disguised, that the design of those 
who now have the charge of this combination is political, and that they 
look directly to the elevation of the political leaders in the game, and to 
the consequent overthrow of the Republican party. This is the whole 
design. The yearning for office and power and a resolution to strive to 
obtain it, by whatever means, was manifest in nearly all the movements 
from the opening maledictions of the great leader, Solomon Southwick, 
to the plausible sophistry of the newest convert, Myron Holley; and from 
the perpetual caucusings and private whisperings of the profligate Weed, 
to the exclusive and proscribing moderation of Samuel Miles Hopkins. 
* * * The same men, ever since they abandoned the name Federalist, 
have resorted to every trick and device, and have bestrid every hobby 
that promised the slightest aid in the accomplishment of their designs 
against Republicans. It is the same broken-down, foiled, and defeated 
politicians the same traders under every flag that have paid Antimasonry 
the compliment to assume its keeping, and to render it subservient to their 
political schemes. We have said that this is the old Federal party, and 
the disaffected of all parties in a new dress. In relation to the former 
party, there are honorable exceptions. There are many, we well know, 
who have not only refused the sanction of their names to this deception, 
but who, notwithstanding they have been approached with the assertion 
that it is best to encourage the scheme, " for it is the only way to defeat 
the Jackson party," have spoken with scorn and indignation of the unprin- 
cipled attempt. 

It was said b}^ the Democrats that "not a single individual 
who supported the Republican [Jackson] ticket at the late elec- 
tion was a delegate to the convention." 6 Articles from the 
local papers, such as the Oneida Observer, were cited to -similar 
effect, giving long lists of former Adams men, called " Feder- 
alists," who had joined the Antimasons/ The Antimasons in 
the legislature were meanwhile found upon the National 
Republican side in nearly every issue. d 

Trials and investigations had been going on all this time, and 
a growing party in the legislature, composed of Antimasons, was 
constantly clamoring for "more light." The Democrats had 
learned by former experience the danger of resisting such 
demands, and, accordingly, select committees composed exclu- 

Albany Argus, February 26, 1829. This is probably the work of Croswell, editor of the 
Argus, a member of the Regency, and one of the opponents of Weed. He was a brilliant 
political writer. 

b Albany Argus, March 5, 1829. 

c Albany Argus, February 26, March 5, 1829. 

d Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 392. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 387 

sively of Antimasons were appointed in the senate and house 
to recommend measures for the investigation of the Morgan 
affair. In the senate this committee brought in a report ask- 
ing further direction from that house. The committee of the 
whole resolved to send back the report with directions to 
bring in such a bill as they thought expedient and proper "to 
remedy the evils complained of, if any legislation is deemed 
necessary. " rt 

In the house the Antimasons seemed to be equally lax and 
inefficient, now that the\^ had partially obtained what they 
wanted. The only thing of importance which this committee 
did was to approve of continuing the law appointing a special 
commissioner. * That such men did not take advantage of 
these concessions argues that they were probably hindered in 
some indirect way, as was often charged by the Antimasons. 
Incidents like the above seemed only to make the whole body 
of the party more and more bitter toward the Democrats. 
These concessions and Van Buren's message, however, show 
that attempts were still made to stem the growing influence 
and unity of opposition in New York. 

The city of Rochester was during this time the point where 
the bitterest strife was waged. The spring elections left the 
town about equally divided between the friends of the two 
parties. c In Rochester Weed published his Anti-Masonic 
Enquirer; and in Rochester the radical Masons determined to 
make a bold stand. The great majority of the Masons of 
that section of the State had condemned the Morgan affair 
and had given willing aid, as good citizens, toward the con- 
viction of the participators therein. The enthusiasts, how- 
ever, kept up a bitter warfare against Antimasonry, and 
finally made the great mistake of openly establishing a news- 
paper to uphold their cause. The paper was called the 
Craftsman and was printed at Rochester. Although its tone 
was Democratic, the Democrats recognized that it was a pow- 
erful help to Antimasonry and repudiated it. They looked 
upon it as a movement, "the tendency of which," they said, 
" can scarcely fail to revive the scenes of the past year, to at 
least continue, much beyond the natural duration, the embit- 

a Albany Argus, March 2, 1829. 

b Ibid. 

c Albany Argus, May 12, 1829. 



388 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

tered and excited feelings of the times, and to put weapons in 
the hands of those, who, under the mask of Antimasonry, have 
sought their own political and personal elevation." "With 
this paper and its contributors," says the Argus, " we pre- 
sume the mass of the Masonic fraternity do not act; but 
whether they do so or not, the Democracy of the State, so far 
as we have been able to ascertain their wishes, decline its 
associations and disapprove of its course. " a 

Governor Throop, too, realized the danger to the Democrats 
of these new efforts of the Masons to strike back at the Anti- 
masons. In his inaugural address upon taking the executive 
chair vacated by Van Buren he reviewed the situation. He 
asserted that he was no Mason, and said: 

And yet I find it difficult to believe that a society, which has been exist- 
ing several centuries; which has enrolled among its members persons of all 
ranks and conditions, and many distinguished for their piety and purity of 
life, and devotion to their country, is founded on principles which tend to 
subvert all government, or exact obligations from its members incompatible 
with their duty to their fellow citizens, their country, and their God. I 
have not found that the members of the Masonic fraternity, anywhere, 
contend that there is in the present condition of the world, whatever may 
have heretofore been the case, any great object to be effected, or particular 
good to be obtained, by upholding the institution. If that be so, I can not 
but believe that all well meaning members will soon see the propriety of 
dissolving an association, which can only remain as a source of useless irri- 
tation among its members, and between them and the rest of their fellow 
citizens. But in making these avowals, I owe it to my own feelings, and to 
the occasion, to say, that any attempt to make the subject subservient to 
political or party purposes, which labors to introduce into the community 
a prescriptive crusade against any class of our citizens, and which threatens 
to expose this highly favored land to those scenes of fanaticism and bloody 
persecution which have in succession overturned and devastated the fairest 
portions of the globe, shall meet in me a mild and temperate but a stern 
and inflexible opponent. & 

Such an address, representing as it fairly did the sentiments 
of the nonmasonic Democratic politicians of the day, could in 
no wise satisfy the radical Masons or the Antimasons, and 
consequently it added no strength to the Democratic cause. 

The election of 1829 was on the whole favorable to the 
Jackson party. Nevertheless, the strong Antimasonic Eighth 
senatorial district elected Albert H. Tracy, a man who was 

a Albany Argus, September 2, 1829. 

b Inaugural address, Albany Argus, September 4, 1829. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 389 

probably unsurpassed by any of the party in his capacity for 
political intrigue; a for the first time Antimasonr} r crossed 
"Cayuga Bridge-' and elected two out of the four candidates 
for the assembly in Seward's county; 6 and there was also a 
slight gain in some of the old Adams counties, such as Wash- 
ington and Oneida/ The united opposition had learned a 
lesson by the split of the previous year, and this year they 
were careful not to encroach on each other's territory. The 
Antimasons seemed to have concentrated their strength in 
their former strongholds, and to have left by default a clear 
field for the National Republicans in the other counties. d 

The year 1829 was, in the main, a period of quiet preparation 
and organization. The plan for a national convention showed 
that the bold and ambitious leaders were gradually getting 
hold of the party and preparing it for its higher national 
career. True Antimasonry had become subverted to anti- 
Jacksonism. The beginnings of the Whig party in New 
York, and we may say in the nation, had appeared. 

"Weed acknowledges him to be the leader in this respect. Weed, Autobiography, 1, 
4-21. 

b Bancroft's Life of Seward, I, 29. Seward had not as yet distinguished himself in the 
cause to any great extent. 

c Albany Argus, November 16, 20, 26, 27, 1829. 

d Seward Autobiography, I, 75. In the "infected district" alone, the Democrast 
allowed 22 men to the Antimasons, viz: Chautauqua, 2; Erie, 2; Genesee, 3; Living- 
ston, 2; Monroe, 3; Niagara, 1; Ontario, 3; Orleans, 1; Seneca, 2; Wayne, 2; Yates, 1. "It 
appears that in 20 counties the opponents of the National Republican party nominated 
50 members for Assembly as Adams men, and that in 28 other counties the opposition 63 
candidates, denominating them Antimasons making a total of 113 candidates out of 128 
"members." Albany Argus, November 26, 1829. 



CHAPTER IV, THE HIGH TIDE OF POLITICAL ANTIMASONRY 
IN NEW YORK, 



The election of 1829 proved that the National Republicans 
had united with the Antimasons to a larger extent than 
theretofore. It was asserted by the Democrats that not one 
Democratic member had been returned from any of the dis- 
tricts in which Antimasons controlled the vote. a In view of 
these results the Democrats despaired of uniting with the 
Antimasons and no longer hesitated to denounce the leaders 
and the fc ' coalitions. " In fact they openly opposed the Morgan 
investigation itself a thing which they had seldom previously 
done. The leaders of the party, like Governor Throop, stated 
that Antimasonry was "overflowing its proper boundaries," 
was " misdirected in its efforts," and was "carrying into public 
affairs matters properly belonging to social discipline." 6 The 
Antimasons in the legislature, led in the senate by Albert 
H. Tracy and in the assembly by Granger, Weed, and Philo 
C. Fuller, joined the opposition to the administration on all 
the leading questions of the day. The two great questions in 
New York politics were the Chenango Canal and the safet}^ 
fund system in banking. The Democrats had constantly 
defeated the attempts to build a canal which should connect 
the interior lakes, and would consequently connect the Erie 
Canal with the Pennsylvania system through the Susquehanna 
River. It is not strange, then, that the Antimasonic party, 
containing as it did so many Clintonians, should champion the 
cause; nor is it strange that it should, by promoting this 
movement, strive to curry favor with the South central sec- 
tion of the State, and thus destroy its support of the Demo- 



a Address of the Jackson electors, Freeman's Journal, Cooperstown, N.Y., September 
20, 1830. 

b Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 393. 
390 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 391 

crats. Accordingly we find them vigorously supporting this 
scheme/' 

The active, shrewd leaders who now controlled the destinies 
of Antimasonry never lost an opportunity to pierce a joint in 
the armor of the Regency. They were in legislative matters 
the old enemies of the Regency and the Bucktails. They 
stood, openly and avowedly, the party of internal improve- 
ments with the old Clintonian policy, vigorously advocating 
the extension of the canal system, as well as fighting every 
effort of the Regency to raise the tolls. 6 

On the bank issue they made still another effort to curry 
sectional favor. The New York City banks had petitioned 
the legislature for some modifications of the safety-fund law 
and for charters under that act/ When it was proposed to 
tax them in the regular manner, the Antimasonic leaders saw 
at once a chance to oppose successful!}^ the administration 
and gain the favor of these institutions. As the strength of 
party was almost wholly in the agricultural interior of the 
State, this policy attracted great attention and was widely 
commented upon by the Democratic press of the day/* Inci- 
dents of this kind were pointed out by the Democrats as proof 
positive that real Antimasonry no longer existed/ 

The party kept up the opposition to the Masons; trials and 
investigations went on as before; and petitions were presented 
for the repeal of the charter of the grand lodge of the State. 
All of these proceedings were looked upon by the Democrats 
as efforts to u keep the pot boiling" for political purposes; and 
indeed it was necessary that something of this sort should be 
done if the more radical of the party were to be kept at all in 
subjection to the machine. Two circumstances occurred in 

Hammond, Political History of New York, II, pp. 327, 328. 

I) Albany Evening Journal, April 16, 1830. 

c Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 327. 

d Says the Argus: "The banks of the city of New York were a few days since described 
by certain veracious newspapers as odious monopolies, aristocracies, and all that; and 
the idea that they should be received into the safety fund upon any other terms than 
the other banks of the State (whatever might be the peculiarities of their situation) was 
scouted through the same sources. Now, in order to regain the favor of those ' odious 
aristocracies,' it is declared to be a great hardship to compel them to contribute to the 
security of the people, in the same manner as the other banks of the State freely con- 
tribute; and the presses which assaulted them yesterday, declaim to-day almost with 
tears in their eyes, against a system which is so harsh as to require them not only to 
conduct their affairs well, but to secure the people against their defalcations." Albany 
Argus, March 27, 1830. 

Freeman's Journal, Cooperstown N. Y., September 20, 1830. Democratic addresses. 



392 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

this connection to help the party to gain converts. In the 
convention of February, 1830, it was decided to draw up a 
memorial charging the grand lodge with furnishing funds to 
help the Morgan conspirators. The legislature, by a vote of 
75 to 30, referred the whole matter to the attorney -general, 
who was to file a quo warranto if he should find the grand 
chapter guilty, and thus deprive them of their charter. 
Such action was plainly of no use to the Antimasons, as 
there was no way^ of compelling the members of the grand 
chapter to testify, and testimony had to be obtained before a 
quo warranto could be granted. a Antimasons considered 
this action fair proof of the Masonic character of the Jackson 
party, and of the part Masons were playing in politics. 

Another incident tended to confirm this feeling. Mr. John 
C. Spencer had succeeded Mr. Mosely as special counsel to 
investigate the Morgan outrage. 6 In the course of his duties, 
he thought that by applying to the purpose the reward of 
|2,000 which Governor Clinton had previously offered he 
would be able to solve the whole Morgan myster}^ and con- 
sequently he wrote to Governor Throop for advice and author- 
ity to use the mone}^. The authority was refused, and soon 
afterwards Mr. Spencer made a report to the legislature which 
bore very heavily upon the Western Masons. The legislature 
cut his salary down to $1,000, thus showing their disapproval 
of his work. This produced, naturally, great indignation 
among the Antimasons and led to Spencer's resignation/ 

Mr. Spencer's letter of resignation was very bitter and re- 
flected severely upon the administration. He complained that 
he was not given the "advice, direction, and support of the 
executive, and of the other branches of the government," and 
that "positive aid, beyond the performance of formal duties 
from which there was no escape," had in no instance been 
rendered him, and that official communications to the governor 
had been divulged so as to defeat his measures and bring 
undeserved reproach upon him. "These communications," 
he said, "related to the means of discovery of evidence of 
the fact of William Morgan's death; they were not only in 

Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 394. Albany Argus, March 9, 1830. 
b Weed, Autobiography, I, pp. 233, 258. Mr. Spencer had been one of the counsel for the 
defendants in the trials of 1826. 
c Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 395. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 393 

their nature strictly confidential, but the success of the meas- 
ure suggested, depended entirely upon their being unknown 
to the parties and their friends, yet they became known to 
the counsel of the persons implicated in the offense upon 
William Morgan."" 

The Democrats made all haste to disprove these charges 
and accused Spencer of wanting to use the money to bribe 
witnesses. They also accused him of lying, of "gmss per- 
version of the facts in relation to Governor Throop, of the 
entire omission of the published statements of Governor 
Throop," and of divulging the facts himself. 6 

All this tended to strengthen the Antimasonic spirit at a 
time when the shrewd leaders of the party could use it to the 
most advantage. It tended to solidify the opposition to the 
dominant party, and men, who before had been lukewarm, 
now turned sharply against an administration which was pic- 
tured in such high colors as "the hotbed of Masonry." It 
was easier to combine the scattered elements of the oppo- 
sition than formerly, and in the campaign the opportunities 
thus afforded were skillfully used. 

The party leaders now in power spared nothing that could 
lie used to strengthen the machinery of its organization out- 
side of the State as well as within. On February 25 a con- 
vention was held at Albany in which it was determined to 
strike out boldly for wider empire, c or, in other words, to put 
the "new, vigorous, and enthusiastic Antimasonic party" in 
the place of the discomfited and overthrown National Repub- 
lican party, which had practically withdrawn from the field in 
most of the Northern States. It became evident that the 
work done by the leaders in New York had stirred up many 
like movements in other States and that first steps in the for- 
mation of a great party had been taken. d 

When the convention met, a report was made on the press 
which showed remarkable growth; of the 211 newspapers in 
the State, 32 were Antimasonic. Thirty-six delegates were 
appointed to attend the Antimasonic convention, to be held in 

Spencer's letter, Albany Argus, May 14, 1830. 

& They charged that the "trusty agent of the central committee [Weed] for the manu- 
facture of 'Goodenough Morgans' was the special aid, second, and abettor of Mr. 
Spencer in all this matter." Albany Argus, June 24, 1830. 

<>Se ward's Autobiography, 1, 76. 

d Seward, ibid. 



394 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

Philadelphia the following year. Among- them were Tracy, 
Whittlesey, Granger, Holley, Seward, Maynard, Crary, and 
S. M. Hopkins, the greater number of whom belonged to the 
young group of politicians who were now directing the party. 
We see no mention of Solomon South wick as a delegate to the 
convention, and he was probably discarded. However, though 
he was not there, his spirit was present, if we are to judge 
anything from the reports of the Democratic papers/* 

The convention also virtually discarded Mr. Southwick's 
political organ, the National Observer, and provided for the 
establishment of the Albany Evening Journal, to be conducted 
by Thurlow Weed. The party was thus provided with an 
efficient newspaper at the seat of government to compete with 
the Argus and the Advertiser. The first number of this paper 
appeared on March 22, and announced its political policy, 
pledging itself "to the cause, the whole cause, and nothing 
but the cause of Antimasonry; * * * a cause which com- 
prehends all the great and cherished interests of our country." 
It. promised to advocate "zealously on all occasions, domestic 
manufacture, internal improvement, the abolishment of im- 
prisonment for debt; repeal of our militia system; and all 
other measures calculated to promote the general interest and 
welfare of the people. " b 

It advocated also the temperance cause; contained a great 
amount of religious news, largely of a controversial nature; 
and in many ways tried to catch the spirit of the times. The 
establishment of this paper and its support of many things 
besides Antimasonry, together with the suspicion that it was 
created for the advancement of the shrewd young politicians 
who had followed the fortunes of its editor, drove many sin- 
cere Antimasons to oppose it. The dissatisfaction was greatly 
increased when such hints as the following began to appear 
in Weed's paper: "The great body of the Antimasons would 

a The Albany Argus, March 1, 1830, gives the following significant remarks of John Cox 
Morris: "He urged the purity and disinterestedness of Antimasonry and objected to 
having it said ' You want to be a member of the assemby;' ' you want to be a senator' 
(looking all around the chamber); 'you want to be a member of Congress' (laying his 
hand on his breast); 'you want to be governor' (dropping his hand toward Mr. Tracy, 
who sat directly in front of him). ' What,' said he, ' if you talk to a man of Antimasonry, 

is the answer? You are a d d fool. You are followers of Solomon Southwick, and he is 

mad.'" 

b Handbill, with early numbers of Che Albany Evening Journal. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 395 

much rather see Mr. Clay at the head of public affairs than the 
Masonic dignitary who tramples on the rights of the people." 

The party had another difficulty to overcome, which tended 
to split the opposition to the Democrats. The rise of the 
Workingman's Party in New York at this time threatened 
also to thin their ranks. The birth of this party was due to 
agitation to secure for the mechanics of New York a more 
effectual lien for the labor and materials furnished in the erec- 
tion of buildings. 6 Moreover, the feeling in that democratic 
age that the workingman's position was despised, and that he 
was deprived of his rightful share in the government and 
offices, helped along the movement. All the discontented men 
who could not join the Antimasons, including, of course, great 
numbers of the anti-Jackson Masons, joined this part} 7 . It 
soon became a heterogeneous mass, which, says Hammond 
' ' professed, among other things, an opposition to the monopoly 
of banking, to banks and bank paper, although you might 
very soon perceive bank directors, clerks, and cashiers figur- 
ing in their ranks." c On April 16 they nominated Erastus 
Root, one of the most radical Masonic leaders, for governor.** 

The Antimasonic leaders immediately began negotiations to 
win over this movement to the support of their party in the 
city of New York. "It seemed necessary," says Seward, 
"to name a candidate for lieutenant governor who resided 
in the city of New York, was identified with the ' working- 
men, 'and free from the reproach of previous connection with 
the Antimasonic party. Samuel Stevens, a young, talented, 
and distinguished alderman of the city, was approached, and 
gave his consent to assume that place." 

The leaders having planned the nomination, the next thing 
to do was to have the State convention* ratify it. The conven- 
tion was held at Utica, on August 11, and to Mr. Seward was 

Clay was a Mason. That Weed was actually engaged in trying to tie the fortunes of 
the party to Clay is shown by the published correspondence with Clay. (Weed's Auto- 
biography, I, 350.) 

bSee Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 330. 

Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 331. 

rflbid. John Crary, of Washington County, said in the Argus, August 24, 1830, that "the 
Workingman's party has been considered under Masonic influence, and got up in cities 
and villages to oppose Antimasonry." 

e Seward, Autobiography, I, 78. To like effect Crary's letter, Albany Argus, August 24, 
1830. Weed, Autobiography, I, 367, gives an account of the search for a candidate in New 
York and the final acceptance of Stevens. 



396 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

assigned the duty of convincing the delegates of the "expe- 
diency and propriety of the nomination of Mr. Stevens. " a 
Mr. Seward, by that wonderful acuteness which always distin- 
guished his political career, wove such a mesh of connection 
between Antimasonry and the political events of the past }^ear 
that it was seemingly impossible to refute him. Among other 
remarks are those so aptly quoted by Bancroft, the resolution 
in which he said: 

In the events which called the party into existence we have proof that 
the society of Freemasons has broken the public peace, and with a high 
hand deprived the State of a citizen; that in the guarded and studious 
silence of the press throughout the Union on the subject of that outrage, 
we have proof that Freemasonry has subsidized the public press; that in the 
refusal of the house of assembly to institute a legislative inquiry into the 
acts of the society of Freemasons in relation to that outrage, we have proof 
that the legislative department has been corrupted; that in the withhold- 
ing by the acting governor of all positive aid in bringing to justice the 
actors in that profligate conspiracy, and in his recent denunciation of the 
same public, which when a judge he hailed as "a pledge that our rights 
and liberties are destined to endure," we have proof that Freemasonry has 
made a timid executive subservient to her will, and that in the escape of 
the guilty conspirators by means of the Masonic obligations of witnesses 
and jurors, we have fearful proof that Freemasonry has obstructed, de- 
feated, and baffled the judiciary in the high exercise of its powers. That 
for these reasons the society of Freemasons ought to be abofished. & 

However, the radical Antimasons readily saw through the 
efforts of Seward and put up a vigorous opposition in the 
convention. 

Mr. Stevens was nominated by Mr. Fessenden, a delegate 
from New York. Mr. Fessenden's words upon this occasion 
are highly interesting. After alluding to Mr. Stevens and his 
popularity among the workingmen of New York, he said he 
"should not object to Mr. Crary if the majority of the State 
were Antimasons, but of what use would it be to nominate a 
governor and lieutenant governor, and have both defeated." 

He said he was "opposed to coalitions, but this was not a 
coalition ; it was using the name of a man known to be opposed 
to the Masonic institution, the name of an individual popular 
and honorable, for the purpose of gaining a victory in favor 
of Antimasonry." He spoke at some length, alluding to the 
advantage of a partial victory if a complete triumph could not 

Seward, Autobiography, I, 78. 

b Proceedings or the convention, pp. 4, 5. Bancroft's Life of Seward, I, 33. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 397 

be gained, and the desirability of obtaining all the votes possi- 
ble, " whether Antimasons or not." a This quotation is given 
in order to show more clearly the position of the Antiraasonic 
party at this time. That such sentiments could have been 
uttered and such a nomination made shows clearly that the 
party had deviated from its fundamental principles, and really 
was indistinguishable from the old opposition to Jackson. An 
attempt on the part of the Radicals to make a separate nomi- 
nation failed. 6 

Southwick and Crary had now lost the last vestige of power 
in the new party. The celebrated author of "Solomon South- 
wick's Solemn Warning," like a prophet of old, wailed aloud 
in his grief and heaped solemn anathemas upon the heads of 
the iconoclasts who had dared to dispute his leadership. He 
accused Weed and his friends of toying to destroy his paper, 
of going into the "dark corners," as he says, "like Free- 
masons, which they pretend to oppose, and attempt by vile 
calumny and mean insinuation to impeach my fidelity, my 
prudence, and my judgment in supporting the cause, * * * 
let them meet me face to face, front to front, before a just, 
impartial, and independent people, and I fear not the issue. 
I shrink from no investigation, fear no responsibility, I fear 
none but God. I hate none but the devil, and his works of 
darkness. " c 

Mr. Crary, too, in a letter stated his grievances. He said 
that Mr. Stevens was not an Antimason and " that whenever a 
candidate is nominated that does not sustain the character of 
an Antimason, the party and principle is dissolved." He ac- 
cused the party of having lost its integrity, called for a puri- 
fication, and urged the Antimasons to throw off "the bondage 
of men who have entered the party from unworthy motives, 
so that the character of honorable men belonging to 
it be vindicated from reproach. " rf 

Many of the discontented men leaned toward the Democrats, 
and we hear Southwick proclaiming against "Henry Clay's 
Grand Trinity of Corruption, Bankocracj r , Freemasonry, and 
National Internal Improvement." "Already," he says, "are 
the branches of the national bank multiplying among us, and 

a Proceedings of convention, Albany Argus, Aug. 16, 1830. 

b Weed, Autobiography, I, 367. 

c National Observer, August 21, 1830. 

d Letter dated Salem, August 17, 1830, in Albany Argus, August 24, 1830. 



398 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

that, too, under Masonic influence as well as Clay influence, 
which are one and the same thing. The cloven foot of Clay 
begins to show itself so clearly in the movements of some 
folks who pretend to be Antimasons, that it may be seen 
with half an eye." a 

The last remarks were called forth, no doubt, by the in- 
creased interest shown by the political Antimasons in national 
affairs. The Antimasonic convention had assembled at Phila- 
delphia September 11, and New York, Massachusetts, 
necticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New 
Delaware, Ohio, Maryland, and Michigan were represented. 
The convention was distinctly under New York influence, and 
Francis Granger, the candidate for governor, was president. 
The national character of the designs of the party were fully 
set forth, although it was not thought expedient to nominate 
a candidate for President. It was voted, however, to hold 
another convention of " the people of the United States 
opposed to secret societies * * * to meet on Monday, the 
26th day of September, 1831, at the city of Baltimore, by 
delegates equal in number to their representatives in both 
Houses of Congress, to make nominations for suitable candi- 
dates for the office of President and Vice-President to be 
supported at the next election." 6 

During the course of the proceedings the political nature of 
Antimasonry was openly avowed by Mr. Irwin, of Pennsyl- 
vania, who remarked "that he had been surprised the other 
day to hear a gentleman express his surprise that the conven- 
tion had assembled for political purposes." He declared 
u that they had met for no other but political purposes." 
Here, then, we have the Antimasonic spirit fashioned into a 
recognized national political party with many issues to present 
to the people besides its opposition to Masonry. The resolu- 
tions of the convention are remarkable for the manner in 
which national issues are sandwiched in with rabid Anti- 
masonry. The following may serve as examples: 

Resolved, That a committee be appointed to consider the nature, princi- 
ples, and tendency of Freemasonry as regards its effects on the Christian 
religion. 

a South wick' s letter, Albany Argus, October 16, 1830. 

b See proceedings and also Philadelphia National Gazette, September 11, 1830; Albany 
Argus, September 17, 22, 1830. 
c National Gazette, ibid. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 399 

Resoh-ed, That a committee of five be appointed to inquire and report 
concerning the effect, of the ties and obligations of Freemasonry upon the 
commerce and revenue of the United States. 

Resolved, That a committee be raised to inquire into the pecuniary cir- 
cumstances and situation of the family of Capt. William Morgan, and to 
report what measures, if any, should be adopted. 

Resolved, That a committee be appointed to consider and report the most 
expedient time, place, and manner, for making nominations of candidates 
for the offices of President and Vice-President of the United States. 

The gubernatorial campaign was exciting, and everything 
which could possibly be brought against the Jackson party 
was used. Some of these charges deserve a brief treatment. 
The Jackson party was decried in the Lake sections because 
Jackson had vetoed a bill for the construction of harbors on 
Lake Erie. 6 

The Cherokee question and the missionaries were topics of 
general interest at that time and were used to the best advan- 
tage by the Antimasons in working upon the religious ele- 
ments, and Antimasonic conventions throughout the State 
passed resolutions condemning the Democratic policy in these 
matters/ The "American system," too, was universal!} 7 sup- 
ported by the party, and great stress was laid in this par- 
ticular campaign upon the interests of "mechanics and work- 
ingmen" as helped by that system. It was no doubt a very 
welcome shibboleth because of the efforts to draw the " Work- 
ingmenV' rf party to their standard. 

In distinctively state matters the canal and internal improve- 
ment question was put proininenth T forward. Granger, on 
accepting the nomination, had pledged himself "to foster and 
extend that system of internal policy which has placed our 
State upon its envied preeminence. " e The party, as usual, 
directed a fierce crusade against the Regenc} T , declaring that 
the "Regency combined with the canal commissioners, had 
conspired to raise the canal duties so as to divert our com- 
merce into the Welland Canal of Canada; * * * that they 
opposed the railroad contemplated to be made between Albany 

a From New York Courier and Enquirer in Albany Argus, September 17, 1830. 

''Albany Argus, October 21, 1830. 

fSee Queens County convention, Albany Evening Journal, October 13, 1830. 

dCayuga convention proceedings, Albany Evening Journal, September 25. Sullivan 
County convention, Albany Evening Journal, October 8, 1830. Seventh senatorial dis- 
trict convention, Albany Evening Journal, September 25. 

e Albany Argus, August 23, 1830. 



400 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

and Boston; * * * that they denounced all internal im- 
provements as "unconstitutional and dangerous to their 
party," a and that they contemplated levying a direct tax to 
provide funds for the State. 6 

The irritation among the people of the southern and central 
counties because of the continued postponement of the Che- 
nango Canal was one of the most valuable sources of gain to 
the party. Although Chenango County, which was most 
anxious for this ' improvement had been one of Van Buren's 
strongest counties in the famous election of 1826, and this 
district was in general a staunch Democratic one, yet because 
of this question, the Democrats were now in a fair way to 
lose their strength there. The Twenty -first Congressional 
district convention of Antimasons resolved that they deemed 
the construction of the Chenango Canal to be an object of 
"paramount and vital importance to the interests of this dis- 
trict," and that they would not "support any man for office 
whom we know to be opposed to it." 6 ' As events proved, 
these threats were not idle, and represented not only the 
ideas of the Antimasons, but of the great mass of the inhabit- 
ants of the south central counties. 

The Antimasonic excitement itself must not be forgotten in 
summing up the political condition of the people in this cam- 
paign. We have the following strange and chaotic condi- 
tions: (1) Antimasons attacking the Masonic* institutions; (2) 
both Jackson Masons and Clay Masons attacking the Anti- 
masons; (3) Clay Masons to some extent supporting Antima- 
sohry; (4:) Masons openly supporting Throop as Masons; (5) 
Weed negotiating for support from the Masons; (6) radical 
Antimasons attacking the followers of Weed; (7) Democrats 
attacking radical Masons and repudiating their support. 

To explain more fully these conditions, it is to be noted in 

Albany Argus, November 18, 1830. 

& Albany Evening Journal, October 19, 1830. Seventh senatorial district convention, 
ibid, September 25. Chenango convention, ibid, October 5, 1830. 

c Albany Evening Journal, October 15, 1830. 

In a meeting of the Antimasons, of the town of Oxford, it was resolved: "That in the 
opinion of the meeting the defeat of the Chenango canal may be traced to the duplicity 
of the canal commissioners, the hypocrisy of its pretended friends, and to the deep and 
settled hostility of the Albany Regency to every question of public policy which does not 
minister to their private interests and selfish ambitions as individuals, and their ascend- 
ancy as a party." Albany Evening Journal, October 4, 1830. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 401 

the first place that the Antimasons did what they could to 
keep alive the excitement and persecution of the Masons. 
Orations were delivered; collections taken up for the support 
of the widow of William Morgan; pamphlets, almanacs, and 
addresses circulated; Masons forbidden to preach or to par- 
take in the communion service; a and various itinerant preach- 
ers and lecturers patrolled the country in aid of the cause. 
Ex-Masons opened lodges, and disreputable characters as ' 'poor 
blind candidates" were initiated as " entered apprentices," 
passed to the degree of " fellow-craft," raised to the " sublime 
degree of master mason," advanced to the " honorary degree" 
of "mark master," installed in the chair as "past master," 
received and acknowledged as "most excellent master," and 
exalted to the degree of "holy royal arch," before delighted 
audiences. 6 The excitement was further propagated by 
the manufacture of other Morgan cases. In Washington 
County a great stir was produced- over the murder of a man 
named Witherill, which was declared to be the work of the 
Masons/ 

The Antimasons received great aid from the increasingly 
bitter attitude of the radical Masons and their paper, the 
Craftsman. Of this latter, the Democrats said: "There is 
probably no single cause to which anti-masonry is more 
indebted for its continued prevalence in the western coun- 
ties. " rf Although this paper was plainly acting with the 
Democratic party, yet the Argus, the organ of that party, 
denounced it unsparingly. Its attitude is well shown by the 
following: 

Though it [the Craftsman] desires to be understood as acting with the 
Democratic party * * * the truth of the matter is simply this: The 
Craftsman is devoted to the cause of Mr. Cla^y. For that purpose it was 
established and to that end its efforts have been directed. The design 
had been to give the publication a circulation and character on other 
grounds, so as to attach weight to its recommendations when the time 
would come for an avowal in favor of Mr. 



Albany Argus, October 16, 1830. See papers of the day. 

bSeward, Autobiography, I, 76. See papers of the day. 

c Albany Evening Journal, October 16, 1830. Washington County was the home of John 
Crary, and bordered on the strong Antimasonic State of Vermont. It was a strong Anti- 
masonic county. 

d Albany Argus, July 24, 1830. 



H. Doc. 461, pt 1 



402 AMERICAN" HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

The desperate efforts of the Democrats to get rid of this 
u Old Man of the Mountains" were piteous and unavailing. 
They could not escape the stigma of this forced relation. a 

While Weed was busily engaged in abusing others, he was 
being abused by the Democrats, by the Southwick Anti- 
masons, and by the Clay men who refused to unite with him 
and whose organ was the Albany Advertiser. He was accused 
on all sides of being inconsistent and of recommending Anti- 
masons to vote for Masons who had not renounced. One in- 
stance of this kind was especially harped upon. The Anti- 
masons of Albany were not strong, and after vain attempts 
at organization, it was urged in a meeting on October 13, " that 
as our contest is against Masonry only, and we are sorry to 
say, that the consequence- of this count}^ being the very sink 
of Masonry that there is no prospect of our selecting an 
assembly ticket of our own on pure Antimasonic principles, 
and we therefore recommend to Antimasonic friends to select 
such persons not adherents of any secret society as they think 
proper to vote for."* 

Among the men recommended by Weed for the nomination 
were several who were accused of being Masons/ Weed' 
caused the report to be circulated that these men had 
renounced and that he had their renunciations in his posses- 
sion, but that he did not wish to have them published till after 
the election for fear of injuring their popularity. His oppo- 
nents clamored loudly for these renunciations, and the South- 
wick Antimasons accused him of having "been guilty of a 
mean and base deception" and of having "duped the honest 
Antimasonic yeomanry" to vote for adhering Masons. d It 
was said that he had openly made bargains with the Masons 
for their votes/ 

a The Anti-masons used the changed attitude of Throop toward their movement and 
his recent denunciation of it with success. It was said ' ' that his inconsistent and contra- 
dictory conduct in relation to the excitement produced by the abduction of William 
Morgan shows him as destitute of firm principles as he is of intellectual strength. In 
1827, as a judge of the bench, he abandoned judicial dignity and propriety and went out 
of his way to catch the popular breeze. He applauded the excitement, called it a 
'blessed spirit,' and remarked that he saw in it a pledge of the continuance of the same 
principle which had achieved our independence. In 1829, while president of the Senate, 
he indulged in the most wanton abuse of the excitement he had two years before 
applauded; and compared it to the delusion of our ancestors respecting witchcraft." 
Albany Evening Journal, October 19, 1830. 

b Albany Argus, October 19, 1830. 

elbid. 

dSouthwick's National Observer, November 13, 1830; Albany Argus, October 17, 1830. 

e Albany Argus, October 16, 1830. 



THE ANTIMA SONIC PARTY. 



403 



As will be seen later, there were some very good grounds 
for these accusations. Never was Weed more bitterly 
attacked. The papers were full of humorous and sarcastic 
allusions to him. He was called a "trickster," the "all pow- 
erful dictator," the "modern transformer who, if the anti- 
masons do not ratify his bargains, will clip their whiskers and 
so transform them that they will not be recognized by their 
wives when they return home." a 



1830. GRANGER 




Election for Governor of New York in 1830. Granger also carried Queens County (on 
Long Island), which does not appear on this map. 

The results of the election were surprising. Throop 
received 128,892 votes, while Granger received 120,361. b 
The election was lost by the fact that the Clay counties of 
the east, containing so many strong Masons, went over to the 

Albany Argus, July 22, 1830. Newspapers of the day. This latter is a reference to 
the clipping of the beard of the dead body of Timothy Monroe in the well-known "good- 
enough-Morgan-till-after-the-election " story, which virtually became aBanquo'sghostto 
Weed. (See Weed, Autobiography, 1, 319; Bancroft's Life of Seward, 1, 39.) The papers 
of the day are full of these canards, and Weed is commonly called "Sir Whiskerando," 
"The Knight of the Shorn Whiskers," " The Manufacturer of Good-Enough-Morgans," 
etc. 

Z> Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 336. Root had withdrawn, but his 
successor, Ezekiel Williams, received 2,332 votes. 



404 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

Jackson party rather than vote for Granger. a Rensselaer, 
Columbia, Albanj^ Saratoga, Washington, Montgomery, 
Oneida, Lawrence, Franklin, and Essex counties had all been 
carried for Granger in the election of 1828. Now they had 
turned Democratic. 6 

Many of the Clay papers openly avowed that they had de- 
feated Granger on account of his Antimasonic principles. 
The Albany Advertiser boasted that "the results of the late 
election have proved in a voice of thunder that our cause was 
approved by the people, and by the party with which we 
have always acted. In this and the counties adjoining, Rens- 
'selaer, Columbia, Montgomery, and Oneida, which have given 
and can give at any time, and will give whenever the question 
shall distinctly come up, a majority of 3,000 for the National 
Republican party, have now given a majority of 7,500 for 
Throop. " c It was asserted that the u friends of Mr. Clay, 
almost to a man, gave their votes for Throop and Livingston 
instead of Granger and Stevens because they knew that of 
the parties these last * * * are not more the enemies of 
social order than they are of Mr. Clay."'* 

The nomination of Stevens was apparently of no avail; only 
Queens County was carried by the Antimasons in the eastern 
part of the State \ e but the efforts of the Antimasons in favor 
of the Chenango Canal were appreciated in the counties of 
Broonie and Chenango. These counties, which had voted 
against Granger in 1828, were carried, together with many 
towns in Madison and Oneida counties. The sixth, seventh, 
and eighth senatorial districts were carried by the party, and 
Charles W. Lynde, Trumball Crary, Philo C. Fuller, and the 
brilliant young politition, William Henry Seward, were 
elected.-^ Tompkins and Cayuga, although Throop lived in 
this district, were carried by Seward through the support of 
the " Workingmen." ff The Democrats acknowledged that the 

a See Albany Evening Journal, February 18, 1831; Albany Argus, November 10, 11, 15, 
1830; Boston Independent Chronicle (Clay), June 30, 1832; Clay's Private Correspondence, 
289; Adams's Diary, 8, 261; Antimasonic Inquirer in Ohio State Journal, December 2, 
1830. 

b Rensselaer gave Throop 1,918 majority, Albany upward of 900, Columbia more than 
800, Montgomery 1,749. 

c Albany Advertiser, November 20, 1830. 

dQhio State Journal (Clay), December 2, 1830. 

e Albany Argus, November 11, 1830. 

/ Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 337. 

gr Bancroft's Life of Seward, I, 35. Seward Autobiography, I, 80. 



THE ANTIMA8ONIC PARTY. 405 

Antimasons had elected 33 members to the lower house, while 
they claimed 91. a 

The election was a big disappointment to Weed, who was 
greatly downcast by the result. Man\^ Masons who had prom- 
ised him their votes, and upon whom he had confidently rested 
his hopes, voted against him. There seems to be no doubt, 
from his own admission, that he negotiated with the Masons, 
as South wick accused him of doing. 6 There is some reason 
to believe, too, that many Masons voted the Antimasonic 
ticket. c 

The Antimasons had lost the election by presuming too 
much upon the merely political nature of the citizens of New 
York. The management of the campaign shows great skill, 
but it also shows the political optimism of young men. Al- 
though this election is called the "high tide of political anti- 
masonry, " rf yet it showed the great inherent weakness of the 
Anti-Jackson party in New York, the difficulty of uniting all 
jarring elements under such a banner as Antimasonry. 

Albany Argus, November 11, 1830. 
b Weed, Autobiography, II, 40. Weed to Granger, 
c Weed, Autobiography, I, 368. Whittlesey to Weed. 
d Bancroft's Life of Seward, I, 35. 



CHAPTER V POLICY OF THE PARTY UPON LOCAL AND 
NATIONAL QUESTIONS, 



Although their plans had miscarried in many respects, yet 
the Antimasons had good ground for hope, and were not dis- 
couraged or disheartened. They had, in both houses, as 
brilliant a group of young politicians as ever had graced the 
floor of the legislature of New York. Among these were the 
eloquent Maynard; the cultured, brilliant, and diplomatic 
Tracy; Millard Fillmore, whose fate it was to occupy the 
Presidential chair; the polished Granger; John C. Spencer, 
once the ic special counsel," now a welcome addition to Anti- 
masonry; and, above all in possibilities, William H. Seward, 
able, eloquent, and shrewd. a These bright young leaders of 
the party in the legislature soon showed their strength in the 
many popular issues which they supported. 

Very early in the session Seward attacked the militia 
system which then existed and which had degenerated to 
paper enrollment and a farcical field day. He showed clearly 
how useless was such an enormous system as then existed. b 

Another measure upon which the party stood together, and 
which tended to increase its popularity, was the bill to abolish 
imprisonment for debt, which passed with considerable oppo- 
sition. 

Of all their efforts, none had been more profitable to them 
than their advocacy of the Chenango Canal. The same atti- 
tude toward this particular project and the canal and improve- 

a See Bancroft's Life of Seward, I, pp. 37, 38, for a description of these men. 

bThis system required 180,000 men, and of course precluded the idea of efficient drill- 
ing. It was unpopular, too, because of its compulsory nature and the fine imposed for 
nonattendaiice. Mr. Seward' s amendment proposed to reduce the number and to make 
the service voluntary in short, a system ' ' which would do away with those features 
which rendered militia duty so odious that every young man sought to be released from 
it." The movement was a very popular one, and, in line with the Antimasonic policy, 
was vigorously supported by them. For Seward's speech, see Albany Evening Journal, 
February 9, 11, 1831. Maynard' s speech in the committee of the whole, ibid., February 8, 
1831. See, also, Seward, Autobiography, I, 82, 180. Bancroft's Life of Seward, I, 80, 41. 

c Seward, Autobiography, 1, 192. It did not go into effect till March 1, 1832. " The act 
as passed retained imprisonment as a punishment only for fraud committed by debtors, 
and forever prohibited the incarceration of debtors, who, though unfortunate, were not 
guilty of dishonesty," Seward, ibid., I, 84. See also Weed, Autobiography, I, 379. 

406 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 4Q7 

ment policy in general was again exhibited in this session. 
After a considerable struggle the Chenango Canal bill was 
finally reported to the senate on the last day of February. 
Here it was defeated by a vote of 16 to 14, the Antimasons 
voting in a body in favor of it. a 

The party attacked boldly the power of the Regency over 
the Erie Canal. Maynard was particularly persistent in his 
efforts. In pursuance of this policy, he introduced a resolu- 
tion providing that there should be four canal commissioners 
who should be appointed by the legislature and hold their 
office for three years unless sooner removed by concurrent res- 
olution of the senate and assembly. This plan was intended 
to " bring the question of their appointment before the people 
at stated periods." It was defeated, however, by a vote of 16 
to 6 in the senate, the Antimasons voting in a body for it. 6 

The people of Monroe, Livingston, Genesee, Allegany, 
Cattaraugus, and Steuben counties had several times petitioned 
for a canal from Rochester to the Allegheny and had been re- 
fused by the Democratic majority in the legislature. This 
was another item which added to the popularity of the Anti- 
masons/ 

More important than these measures because of wider sig- 
nificance was the attitude of the Antimasons toward the banks 
of New York and the national bank. The State banks under 
the safety-fund system were naturally desirous of obtaining 
the profits and opportunities which they would gain if the 
deposits of the United States banks were turned into their 
vaults. The Democrats had been the originators of the safety - 
fund system and consequently were in direct opposition to 
the national banks. d On March 4 a resolution was introduced 
into the assembly as follows: "Resolved, That it is the senti- 
ment of this legislature that the charter of the Bank of the 
United States ought not to be renewed." The resolution was 
carried by a vote of 73 to 35 in the lower house and in the 
senate by^a vote of 17 to 13/ The Antimasons voted against 
it upon both occasions.-^ The Antimasons made much political 

a Albany Argus, March 1, 1831. Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 352. 

b Albany Evening Journal, March 11, 1831. 

c Albany Evening Journal, February 21, (?) 1831. 

dSeward, Autobiography, I, 86. Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 350. 

Albany Argus, April 9, 1831. Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 351. 

/Albany Argus, April 12, 1831. Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 352. 



408 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

material of this question. They- warned the people of the 
power of the State banks and the supposed corrupt relations of 
the canal commissioners with them, a and held as one of their 
principal arguments that the United States Bank not only 
kept "in check the power of the aristocracy [Regency], but 
in consequence of being obliged by- its charter to lend money 
at six per cent, it materially diminished the income which the 
State banks would derive from loans at seven per cent. 6 -' 
The attitude of Weed did not exactly concur with that of 
the rest of the party. That farseeing politician felt the pulse 
of the times. He saw the unpopularity of the Bank among 
the great mass of voters, and consequently already doubted 
the issue as a vote-winning political force. His paper was 
full of equivocations upon the subject. He intimated in sev- 
eral numbers that the Antimasonic members of the legislature 
who voted for the Bank were not necessarily in favor of that 
particular institution. These remarks were quickly taken up 
by the enemies of the party anxious to insert a wedge wher- 
ever possible/ 

Enough has been shown for us to see that there was a very 
strong and active party ably led in both houses of the legis- 
lature, and that they had substantially absorbed the old National 
Republican party and had taken up the old issues together 
with various clever vote-getting additions. 

While Antimasonry was so prominent in the legislature the 
leaders were no less actively engaged in perfecting the politi- 
cal organization of the party, both in the State and in the 

o Albany Argus, May 2, 1831 

& Address of the Antimasons of the legislature to the people of New York, Albany 
Evening Journal, April 28, 1831. 

c Albany Argus, May 20, 1831. 

The Antimasons introduced during this session many matters of smaller importance, 
but yet of a popular nature, such as tended to strengthen their cause. A proposed 
amendment was introduced by Seward intended to secure a "decentralization of the 
political power of the State," providing that the mayors of all the cities in the State 
should be elected by the people. It was finally adopted after a hard struggle, and some 
years afterwards it was practically incorporated into the constitution of the State. 
Seward, Autobiography, I, 84. Albany Evening Journal, April 28, 1831. Bancroft's Life 
of Seward, I, 41. 

A bill of like nature, intended to curtail the patronage of the governor, was that which 
was introduced advocating the appointment by the legislature, instead of by the gov- 
ernor, of the superintendent and inspector of the salt-manufacturing works of the State. 
There had been much abuse connected with this matter, as these officers, it was said, had 
mingled in the electioneering contests of Onondaga County, where the salt works were 
situated. Address of Antimasons of the legislature to the people of New York, Albany 
Evening Journal, April 28, 1831. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 409 

broader field of national politics. The Antimasonic State con- 
vention held on February 18 proved to be a very stormy 
affair. Men who had gone into the party to kill Masonry 
were disgusted with the way the election was conducted, and 
called loudly for reform. Immediately upon the opening of 
the convention they urged the adoption of a resolution that 
"we renew our league and covenant, and that we will not 
support any Mason for office, under an}^ circumstances what- 
soever, who adheres to Masonic obligations. '" a It was urged 
that the party "might lose some of its adherents by adopting 
these resolutions; but ultimately it would secure its predomi- 
nance." 6 

Such ideas, of course, were utterly foreign to Weed's con- 
ception of politics, and they met with decided opposition from 
his followers. One gentleman said plainly '" that Antima- 
sonry had other and higher objects in view than the prostra- 
tion of the Masonic fraternity. * * * Between two Ma- 
sons who were candidates for office he would choose the least 
obnoxious when there was no chance of electing an Antima- 
son. * * He believed that there was no longer any 

danger to be apprehended from Masonry. That it was a cor- 
rupt institution he well knew; but to preserve the Union, 
which he considered in danger, he was willing to let Masonry 
exist a little longer. " c 

Samuel Miles Hopkins, one of the oldest and most influ- 
ential Antimasons, said that he thought that the Union was 
in danger from Jacksonism, and at the last election he had 
u thought it advisable to support men who were adhering 
Masons. * * * He was induced to oppose the nomination 
of the Antimasonic ticket in Rensselaer, Albany, and Wash- 
ington counties. * * * He was free to admit, however, 
* * * that he had done nothing to advance the cause of 
* Antimasoriry, and now * * * he fully accorded with the 
sentiments expressed" by the resolution. d 

The resolution as amended by Mr. Fuller passed the con- 
vention on February 19 and read as follows: 

Resolved, That inasmuch as very erroneous sentiments respecting the 
views of the Antimasonic party have been industriously circulated by its 

a Albany Argus, February 21, 1831. 

b Albany Argus, February 21, Proceedings of the Convention. 



* dlbid , Hopkins's speech. 



410 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

enemies, we do hereby declare that we will not support any man for office 
under the state or General Government who at the time of his nomination 
is an adhering Mason. 

Weed was in the convention, and, as far as we know, was a 
silent witness of these proceedings which threatened to put 
so many stumbling blocks in his path in the future. The con- 
vention, in fact, was a distinct defeat for him and his friends. 

The summer was passed in negotiations between the Nation- 
al Republicans and the Antimasons, for it was evident to the 
National Republicans, not only in New York but throughout, 
the Union, that they needed the growing power of the Anti- 
masons in order to win the approaching Presidential contest. 
Their candidate was Henry Claj^, and they did what they could 
to make it appear that he was no longer a Mason, and tried to 
placate the Antimasons by calling upon the Masons to throw 
aside their order for the good of the National Republican 
party, and ultimately for the nation. 6 

To Weed this union, which for a while seemed hopeful, now 
looked doubtful, particularly after his defeat in the conven- 
tion and the reactionary attitude of the Antimasonic press/ 
After negotiations with Clay he found it impossible to get 
him to renounce Masonry and he finally declared that ''Mr. 
Clay's friends have placed Freemasonry between him and our 
party. * * * Indeed our party is prohibited from sup- 
porting Mr. Clay, even if it desire to do so, by [reason of] 
his own letter published last fall in the Daily Advertiser. In 
this Masonic organ, an extract from a letter from Mr. Clay 
appeared, in which he forbid the association of his name or 
interest with the Antimasonic party." d 

In accordance with this policy, Mr. Clay was abandoned in 
the Antimasonic national convention of September 26, 1831, 
and William Wirt was nominated as the candidate of the 
party/ The leading spirits of this convention were New York 
men, including Seward, Spencer, and Weed. Spencer, the 
converted ex-' 'special counsel," presided. 

a Albany Argus, February 25, 1831. 

*>New York Commercial Advertiser (Clay), in Albany Argus, June 30, 1831. Buffalo 
Journal (Clay) , in Albany Argus, July 20, 1831. 

eNew York Whig, in Albany Argus, July 21, 1831, and papers of the day. 

d Albany Evening Journal, June 1, 1831. See also ibid., June 6. 

e Seward, Autobiography, I, 90. Weed, Autobiography, I, 389. The party as a national 
party will be considered later. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 411 

The election of November, 1831, excited very little new 
interest, since the great source of disturbance and political 
material the Morgan trials had ceased because of the fact 
that the statute of limitations barred further prosecutions 
except for murder; and as Masonic lodges had to a great 
extent given in their charters throughout the State, there was 
very little of that bitter spirit which had characterized the 
political elections thus far. More was now said about general 
politics. a The party elected about 30 members to the assembly, 
and the National Republicans elected 6. & 

The end of the year shows Antimasonry developed into a 
full-fledged national party with a Presidential candidate. It 
shows us also the old spirit of Antimasonry still alive, but, 
in spite of the reactionists of the State convention, fast turn- 
ing from the waning interests of the old excitement into a 
steady opposition to the Jacksonian policy and the Regency. 
Though losing a little in the election of 1831, we find it pre- 
paring to put forth all its strength in the great effort of 1832. 

Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 397. Seward, Autobiography, 1, 91. The 
Craftsman still kept up its warfare upon Antimasonry, with an occasional fling atThroop, 
who had so offended them by his utterances. See extracts from Craftsman, Albany 
Evening Journal, February 28, 1831. 

b Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 397. The Argus allows them but 26. 
Albany Argus, November 14, 1831. Weed claimed 31 in the assembly and 7 in the senate. 
Weed, Autobiography, I, 391. 



CHAPTER VI PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 1832 IN 
NEW YORK, 



The session of the legislature of the year 1832 was occupied 
to a great extent 03- partisan politics of a national character. a 
One of the first matters to come before it was the question of 
the renewal of the charter of the United States Bank, which 
had again been taken up by Congress. It was brought before 
the legislature of New York in the form of a joint resolution 
against the renewal of its charter. The question was ably 
debated, Seward leading the Antimasons in opposition.* Not- 
withstanding the great efforts made the resolution finally 
passed the senate on February 4 by a vote of 20 to 10, the 
Antimasons voting in a body against it. c The resolution 
passed the assembly by a vote of 75 to 37. (l 

The State banks were assailed as having aristocratic and 
corrupt power in contravention to the charge brought for- 
ward by the Democrats that the Antimasons and Clay men 
were supporting an aristocratic monopoly. The opposition 
received unexpected succor from Mr. Root, who declared in 
Congress that the "Albany Regency favor the State banks 
and have brought them under control, and through them 
control the elections, the countervailing influence of the 
United States Bank being the only check upon their power." e 

Another very important matter brought before the legisla- 
ture was the old question of the Chenango Canal, which had 
been brought up so many times and had been so many times 
defeated.^ The Antimasons had gained votes in the previous 

aSeward, Autobiography, I, 93. 

b Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 402. Seward, autobiography, I, 209. 

c Albany Argus, February 6, 1832. Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 407, 
sets the date as February 16. 

d Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 407. 

<? Albany Argus, March 21 and April 12, 1832. 

/The canal was one of a system. It is generally conceded that it promised least and 
yielded the least. Seward, Autobiography, I, 95. 

412 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 413 

elections by advocating this measure, and they now renewed 
the attacks. The great popularity of the canal in the south- 
ern part of the State made this one of the most strongly cdn- 
tested questions between the parties. The Democrats intro- 
duced a bill into the senate providing for the construction of 
the canal, but with so many restrictions that it could not have 
satisfied the petitioners. a It was lost in the assembly by a 
vote of 64 to 52 despite all the exertions of Granger. The 
friends of the bill in the assembly consisted of the Anti- 
masons, the members from the Chenango Valley, and several 
of the members from the city of New York.* Meetings were 
held in the various counties, and a great convention of the 
friends of the canal met on Septembers. Delegates from 
Oneida, Madison, Chenango, Otsego, and Broome were pres- 
ent, and the greatest indignation was expressed at the action 
of the Democratic majority. c 

Throughout the summer Mr. Granger was lauded as the 
great champion of the canal/ and the Democrats saw clearly 
that desperate efforts must be made to retain these counties. 
In the first place, it would be fatal to run Throop, who had 
opposed the canal \ e in the second place, they determined to 
nominate a lieutenant-governor from that section, which they 
did in the person of John Tracy, of Oxford;'' in the third 
place, there is some reason to believe that they promised the 
people of these counties that the next legislature would pass 
a law providing for the construction of the desired improve- 
ment. 9 ' The effects of these measures were decisive, and will 
be discussed later on. 

In national affairs the Antimasons of New York came out 
with exactly the same platform as the National Republicans 
in general, the American system, national bank, and internal 
improvements/ They pursued the same policy as heretofore, 
and every little local issue was made to furnish ammunition 
against Jackson and against Marcy, who was running for gov- 

a Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 413. Albany Argus, March 9, 1832. 
b Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 414. 
c Albany Evening Journal, September 13, 1832. 
d Albany Argus, July 9, 1832. 

e Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 406. 

/Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 406. Weed, Autobiography, II, 44. 
Spencer to Weed. 

g Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 422. Seward, Autobiography, 1, 100. 
A Albany Evening Journal, August 24, September 14, 1832. 



414 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

ernor. They raised the old cry upon the Maysville road veto, 
that Jackson was opposed to internal improvement. In this 
they made a mistake, because the Democrats triumphantly 
pointed out that the Maysville road would be a rival to the 
Erie Canal ; a they assured the people that no enterprise of 
the nature of the Erie Canal would be helped by the National 
Government; and insisted that all help from the Government 
must be confined to national objects, thus practically securing 
monopoly for the New York Canal over all others, and quiet- 
ing the fears of those who dreaded that help would be given 
by the Government to the Pennsylvania system.^ 

A bill was introduced providing for the improvement of the 
Hudson River, especially the part called the "Overslaugh," a 
few miles below Albany, known in the political literature of 
the times as " Marcy's farm." Marc} T and other leading Demo- 
crats of New York voted against it, and Jackson vetoed it. 
The Antimasons naturally seized this opportunity, and conven- 
tions in various places passed resolutions against the use of 
the veto power/ The Democrats explained that the veto was 
caused by the objectionable riders attached to the bill.^ Jack- 
son's veto of a bill to improve two harbors situated at the 
mouth of the Big Sandy Creek and the Salmon River on Lake 
Erie, and Marcy's vote against the bill furnished material for 
opposition from that section/ 

Another grievance was in connection with the Lake Erie and 
Hudson River Railroad survey. This railroad was intended 
to go through the southern tier of counties. According to an 
act of Congress the survey was to be made at public expense, 
if the President should think it of national importance. Jack- 
son detailed engineers for the purpose, but ordered the surveys 
not to be made unless the State or incorporated companies or 

Albany Argus, October 16, 19, 1832. 

frTallmadge's letter, Albany Argus, September 15, 1832. See also Albany Argus, 
October 5. 

clt was declared "that the improvement of the navigation of the Hudson River is of 
national importance, not merely to this State, but of portions of New England and of all 
the Western States. * * * We can not comprehend the logic by which the President 
was led to the conclusion that such a measure was unconstitutional, when at the same 
time he approved of appropriations for objects far less national in their character and 
comparatively less important to any interest, either local or general." Albany Evening 
Journal, Oneida convention of August 15, and Montgomery convention in Albany Even- 
ing Journal of August 25, 1832. 

d Albany Argus, October 5, 1832. 

Proceedings of the Oswego convention, Albany Evening Journal, October 8, 1832. 
See, also, Ibid., September 22, 1832. 



THE ANTIMAiSONIC PARTY. 415 

individuals interested should meet all the expenses, except 
such as belonged to the personal compensation of the engi- 
neers and the procuring and repairing of necessary instru- 
ments. The money not being forthcoming, they stopped 
work. The President was declared by the opposition "to 
have evinced 'unprincipled opposition' to the internal im- 
provements and the interests of the State." a 

These are but minor incidents. What was really remark- 
able about the year 1832 was the manner in which the forces 
of the opposition were collected and marshalled against the 
Administration and its candidate for governor. The Antima- 
sonic State convention met at Utica on June 21. Albert H. 
Tracy, of Buffalo, was elected president, and Francis Granger, 
of Ontario, and Samuel Stevens, of New York, were unani- 
mously nominated as its candidates for the offices of governor 
and lieutenant-governor. The convention concurred in the 
nomination of Wirt and Ellmaker for President and Vice- 
President, and nominated a remarkable electoral ticket, con- 
taining the names of many men who were at least not avowed 
Antimasons. Says Weed: ' ' We aimed, in the selection of can- 
didates, to secure the votes of all who were opposed to the 
re-election of General Jackson." 6 Chancellor Kent was put 
at the head of the ticket, and half of the electoral ticket were 
Antimasons and half from the old National Republican party/ 
The whole attitude of the convention shows it to have been 
completely under the thumb of Weed and his friends. The 
addresses dwelt upon the abuses of the Administration, and 
had little to say (doubtless to placate the Clay supporters) 
about the principles of the party. d This policy was in line 
with the general silence upon Antimasonic topics for some 
time previous, partly, no doubt, caused by the dying out of 
the Masonic institution, and partly from the desire not to hurt 
the coalition by offending the Masonic National Republicans/ 

The plot had been so carefully arranged, and the electors 
so evenly divided that the National Republican convention of 

a Proceedings of the Cayuga County convention, Albany Evening Journal, Octobers, 
1832. See, also, Ibid., September 5, 1832. 

bWeed, Autobiography, I, 413. 

c Seward, Autobiography, I, 99. 

d Albany Argus, June 23, 1832. See, also, Ibid., October 9, Address of the Columbia 
electors. 

a Seward, Autobiography, I, 213. Letter of April 14. 



416 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

July 25 found no difficult\ T in nominating the same State and 
electoral ticket, although they nominated Clay and Sergeant 
for Presidential candidates. 
Seward says: 

The question as to which man the electoral vote would be given if the 
ticket was elected was earnestly discussed, but, so far as I know, no pub- 
lic explanation was ever given. Perhaps I know all on that subject that 
was known by anyone who was not a member of one or of both of the 
State conventions. * * * I thought the chances about equal that the 
combined opposition might carry the State. I expected that, in that case, 
the electoral votes would be cast for Wirt and Ellmaker, unless it should 
appear from the results of the election in other States that, being so cast 
for Wirt and Ellmaker, they should not be sufficient to secure their elec- 
tion, but would secure the election of Clay and Sergeant if cast for them. & 

To bind the opposition more firmly together and to prevent 
quarrels, it was decided that a man from each party should 
attend the district and county conventions to harmonize con- 
flicting interests and opinions/ 

But if the scheme seemed to succeed, the leaders of the 
Antimasons had, as events show, presumed too much upon the 
good nature of those of the party who were still bitter and 
uncompromising in their hatred of Freemasons. Weed's dis- 
comfiture in the convention of 1830 had not made a sufficiently 
lasting impression on him, and he again overreached his mark. 
The ghost of Southwick arose to confront those who would 
thus tamper with the "blessed spirit" and mingle with the 
worshippers of that "Satan's synagogue," the Masonic insti- 
tution. The coalition was repudiated and denounced. d 

John Crary, the former candidate for lieutenant-governor, 
came out with a long letter in the Argus addressed to the 
Antimasons of 1828.* This was an able document, and no 
doubt had great influence on the election. He claimed that 

n Weed, Autobiography, I, 413; Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 398. 

& Seward, Autobiography, I, 100. 

c Weed and Matthew L. Davis, the literary executor of Burr, were the men selected. 
Weed, Autobiography, I, 414. The Jackson men gave the name " Siamese Twin Party " 
to this coalition. 

ft Spencer was evidently very early apprehensive of this feeling. In a letter to Weed, 
July 13, 1832, he says: "All that I apprehend from it is that our Antimason friends will 
doubt whether all our electoral candidates will go for Wirt," and advised against a nom- 
ination by the National Republicans. In a letter of September 15 he says: "Our Anti- 
Mason friends stand firm and treat with contempt the cry of coalition. * * * Still, we 
have judged it expedient to furnish them occasionally with Antimasonic matter." 
Weed, Autobiography, II, pp. 43, 44. These letters are typical of the spirit of the leaders 
of the party. 

t Albany Argus, August 14, 1832. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 417 

the old Adams party had tried to appropriate the spirit of 
Antimasonry to itself since the spirit had shown its power in 
the election of 1828. He said: 

It must be obvious that if Antimasonry was right in 1828, it must be 
wrong now, for it is different both in principle and practice from what it 
was then. In 1828 the object was the destruction of Freemasonry, now 
it is the protection of it, for the benefit of all those who will connive at 
the hypocrisy of the party. In 1828 the Antimasons abandoned their 
political parties for the cause of Antimasonry * * * now they abandon 
the cause of Antimasonry for the sake of resuscitating the old Adams 
party for the benefit of Mr. Clay, and unite with the Masons who are in 
favor of him. With a view to this object, we have seen the Antimasonic 
and National Republican journals cease their denunciations against each 
other and for months past chime in together against General Jackson and 
the Albany Regency. 

This letter was followed by many others of similar nature. 
The radicals also received much encouragement from Anti- 
masons outside of the State, especially from Massachusetts. a 

One of the most important documents used by the anti- 
coalition party was the "Appeal of the Antimasons of Colum- 
bia County" denouncing Weed and the coalition, and asking 
the electors to come out and say for whom they would vote. 
This paper received all the force of Weed's sarcasm and bril- 
liant political wit and was as strongly defended by the Jackson 
papers and the Radicals. 6 It exposed the political methods 
of the coalitionists in Columbia County, and then said: 

At the local elections in almost every part of the State, coalitions as 
complete and as disgraceful have been formed. In proof of this, we refer 
to the support of Clay men and those opposed to Antimasonry on the one 
hand, and to the support of Antimasons by Clay men on the other, in 
almost every county in the State. We refer you to the counties of Albany, 
Rensselaer, Sullivan, Schenectady, and many other places. We refer you 
to the whole six counties composing the third senatorial district, in which 
the two parties united on a candidate for the Senate. We refer you to the 
convention in Montgomery County, called by 366 individuals, part of whom 
are Antimasons and part Clay men, to insure "concert" of action among all 
opposed to the Republican party without regard to their opinions on the 
subject of Masonry.-" We refer to a convention of Antimasons and Clay 
men in Franklin County which appointed delegates to the State convention 
of both parties, or as it termed them "the divisions of the great political 
party," which resolved that for the accomplishment of the paramount 



a Letter from Boston Free Press (Antimasonic) in Albany Argus, August 14, 1832. 
& See Albany Argus, September 18, October 4, October 9, 1832. Albany Evening Journal, 
September 18, 1832. 



H.Doc. 461, pt 1 27 



418 'AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

object all minor considerations should be made to yield, and 

that no difference not strictly of a polical nature, should be allowed to 
create divisions and dissensions. a 

These statements are in the main true, as shown by those 
of Weed himself. 6 The} 7 show that he had done his work 
well and that Antirnasonry pure and simple had become but a 
shadow. We can say truly that with this election the Whig- 
party was really formed/ 

The attitude of the National Republicans deserves notice. 
They were naturally delighted at the turn affairs had taken. 
The Albany Advertiser, which had been credited with carry- 
ing the National Republican counties of the interior against 
Granger in the previous election/ agreed to support the 
"ticket on the broad and distinct ground that it was the para- 
mount object of all those who .truly love their country to put 
down and destroy the present shamelsss and corrupt adminis- 
tration. ' v Man} 7 of the electors, like Chancellor Kent, were 
the oldest and strongest men of the party, which fact gave 
confidence that Clay would receive the electoral vote, and it 
was indeed understood that the Antimasons had formed the 
union on the ground that the electors should give their votes 
for Mr. Clay as an equivalent for the National Republican 
votes which would be cast for Granger. This seems to have 
been understood outside of the State, as well as within, and 
was evidently accepted by the Masons. ' 

The election was hotly contested and the parties were 
highly excited; ^ but the Jackson party, with its shibboleth 
of "Remember the Aristocrats at the Polls," 7 * were too strong 
for the combination, and the "huzza strength, "* as Weed 
called it, won by a vote of 13,000 majority for its Presidential 
candidate.^" Marcy received a majority of nearly 10,000 votes. 
Granger regained the counties of Washington, Essex, and 

a Albany Argus, October 9, 1832. 

''Weed, Autobiography, I, pp. 413, 414. 

f A curious feature of the contest now showed itself because of the above and similar 
documents. As Masons had renounced in 1828, we have the papers full of renunciations 
of Antimasonry in 1832. 

<i Pennsylvania Intelligencer, July 5, 1832. 

c Albany Daily Advertiser, August 3, 1832. 

/Albany Argus, August 11,1832. See extract from Boston Masonic Mirror. See also 
Albany Argus, August 14, November 3,* and Ohio State Journal, August 11, 1832. 

Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 423. 

h Albany Argus, November 3, 1832. 

i Weed, Autobiography, II, 46. 

j Albany Argus, November 6, 12. 14, ll, December 13, 1832. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 



419 



Franklin, which had voted for him in 1828. He also gained 
Madison and Cortland, which had never before voted for him; 
but he lost Chenango, Cayuga, Seneca, Tompkins, Steuben, 
and Wayne, which were carried by him in 1830. Chenango, 
which in 1830 gave him a majority of 1,100, now gave Marcy 
and Tracy about 40/< 

After the election, both the Antimasons and the National 
Republicans were generally satisfied with the struggle they 
had made. The only thing the National Republicans com- 



1832. COALITION 




plained of was the outside interference of the Boston Ariti- 
masonic press, which they charged with raising " discord by 
the continued and systematic and obstinate course of misrep- 
resentation.-' b There is no doubt that the radical Antimasons, 

a Albany Argus, November 21, 1832. See Ibid, November 11, 1830. Hammond, Politi- 
cal History of New York, II, 399. Hammond, II, 424, puts it 200, which is an error. The 
action in Chenango was doubtless influenced by the changed attitude of the Democrats 
on the canal questfon. 

&From New York Commercial Advertiser, quoted in Ohio State Journal, Dec. 1, 1832 
There is some evidence of this in Spencer's letter to Weed, of July 13. Weed, Autobiog- 
raphy, II, 43. 



420 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

as well as many former supporters of Granger, turned away 
from him because of the sharp practice indulged in by the 
leaders. They had overreached themselves in their strenuous 
efforts. Antimasonry as a party was doomed, and already it 
was suggested that a new name be given to the combined par- 
ties a now cemented by a common defeat.* Indeed Anti- 
masonry was to receive its death blow in New York within a 
year. 

Weed, Autobiography, II, 47. Letter of Patterson to Weed. 
b Hammond, Political History of New York, I, 398. 



CHAPTER VII BIRTH OF THE WHIG PARTY, 



The political year of 1833 opened with a triumphant Demo- 
cratic party, which immediately began to fulfill its pledges. 
Governor Marcy, in his inaugural message, reviewed the sub- 
ject of the Chenango Canal and finally indorsed it in the fol- 
lowing words: "I commend the proposed work to your favor- 
able notice, with the expression of a strong desire that its 
merits may be found such as to induce you to authorize its 
construction. '"* a Accordingly', after the legislature was organ- 
ized, a bill for the construction of the canal was introduced 
into the assembly by the Democrats, with limitations as to 
the expense, and with but slight limitations in other respects. 6 
It passed the House on February 1 by a vote of 79 to 40 c and 
was immediately sent to the Senate. On February 21 it passed 
that body by a vote of 17 to 10.'' 

Mr. Hammond says of this movement by the Democrats: 

The reasons assigned by these gentlemen for their change of opinion 
were quite singular. * * Several senators of high standing and char- 
acter, declared in their places that they believed the project ought not to 
be sanctioned by the State; but as they had no doubt the applicants would 
persevere until a legislature would be chosen who would grant their re- 
quest, they thought it their duty to vote for the measure: for if they did 
not pass the law r , their successors would. To illustrate more clearly the 
rule of action by which these gentlemen profess to have been governed, I 
will suppose that I am quite sure that Ton* Jones will steal your horse to- 
morrow night: and to prevent such, an outrage, I determine to steal the 
horse this night. l> 

The Antimasons had realized long before this that they 
would be beaten on this question out of which they had made 
so much political capital. Consequently many of them turned 

a Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 431. 
'Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 425. 
'Hammond, Ibid., Albany Argus, February 2, 1833. 
<i Albany Argns, February 21, 1833. Tracy and Seward voted against it. 

421 



422 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

and voted against the bill and in so doing fell back upon the 
support of the farmers of the western part of the State. To 
carry out this policy, Spencer, in a speech on February 1, 
opposed the bill because of the seventh section, which provided 
that the expense of the canal should be chargeable upon the 
canal fund. This, he argued, would prevent, for a time at 
least, the reduction of the tolls on the Erie Canal, and thus 
prevent the farmers of the west from competing with the 
south in the New York market. rt 

Spencer's action met with at least a partial support from 
the Antimasons throughout the State and especially in the 
western part, where it was felt that the bill as reported was 
unfair to them. "The construction of the Chenango Canal," 
says the Rochester Inquirer, "is to be a charge upon the 
canal fund, and is therefore built by the tolls of the people of 
the west. We are for the Chenango Canal, but not on such 
principles. Mr. Spencer and our friends in the House have 
resisted the measure manfully, but what efforts can meet suc- 
cess against the settled determination of the Regency to pick 
the pockets of the people of the west? What earthly reason 
exists why money should not be raised for the object on the 
credit of the State, as was the case with the Erie Canal ? And 
if the canal revenues are insufficient to meet the loans, let 
them be met by an equal tax. * * Why should the 
farmers of Monroe contribute so vastly more than their pro- 
portion to this object* There can be no reason for it founded 
on justice." 6 

The assembly inserted a provision in* the bill providing that 
the surplus mone} r s belonging to the canal fund should be 
invested in that stock, but it was rejected by the senate. 
The Antimasons in general voted for the amendment and 
claimed it was defeated by the banks because it would "draw 
from the banks part of that enormous amount now loaned to 
them, at the very reduced rates of three and a half and four 
and a half per cent per annum, while they loan out at seven 
per cent. " c 

The question of the canal is fully discussed here because of 
its great importance in the subsequent histor}^ of New York 

a Albany Argus, February 2 and March 8, 1833. 
l> Albany Evening Journal, February 8, 1833. 

< Address of the Antimasonic members of the legiplatnre. Albany Evening Journal, 
May 1, 1833. 



THE ANTIMASON1C PARTY. 423 

politics." "It was," says Mr. Hammond, "the commence- 
ment of, or entering wedge to, a system of measures, and a 
policy which have involved the State in a debt, which, for 
aught I can perceive, will not be exterminated by the present 
[1852] and I apprehend, many succeeding generations." All 
agree that the work was absurd, and, as such, stands as a 
model of \yhat American political parties can selfishly com- 
mence and cany through against public interests and for 
their own trivial triumphs. 

The Antimasons confined their attention during this year to 
advocating the lowering of the tolls upon the Erie Canal. 
The people of the State directly interested in the canal were 
greatly dissatisfied because of the numerous competitors 
which were springing up. "There is scarcely a county 
between the shores of Lake Erie and the banks of the Hud- 
son," said the Buffalo Patriot, "tfyat has not applied to have 
its brooks made navigable and its coal beds and clay beds con- 
nected with the tide water in public works to be constructed 
out' of the tolls of the Erie Canal. * * * The friends of 
the railroad on the south and the Oswego and Welland canals 
on the north will not relax their efforts to share the envied 
monopoly of the Western trade which we now enjoj^." 6 

The position of Antimasons on national questions under- 
went a decided change during the year. In the first place, 
the shrewd politicians who controlled the policy of the party 
saw that the election of 1832 was a positive decision against 
the Bank, and they as a body at length realized, what Weed 
had seen for some time, that they would lose popularity by 
supporting it. In the second place, they saw that it would 
be impossible again to unite on Clay as the leader of a strong 
tariff policy. The New York Whig* puts Clay's position as 

Political history of New York. 

ft Albany Evening Journal, December 4, 1833. This discontent of the west led to the 
forming of a new party known as the "Liberal Republicans, 1 ' which nominated Shel- 
don Smith, of Buffalo, for assembly. Mr. Smith voices the sentiments of the section in 
the following manner: "That the people of Erie, in common with other portions of the 
great West, have important and vital interests at stake, at the present time, is a proposi- 
tion which all must admit. * * * Ever since the death of Clinton * * * a fatal, 
disastrous policy has been pursued by those who have had charge of the New York 
canals. * * * It was to be expected that the immensely rich and rapidly increasing 
trade of the boundless West would produce powerful competitors for its benefits. These 
competitors already exist on both sides of New York, and have already directed large 
portions of the trade into other and less natural channels The return of trade to our 
State depends entirely on the more discreet management of our canals. 1 ' Albany Argus, 
October 29, '.833. 



424 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

follows: "The new tariff bill from the hands of Mr. Clay 
separates him from the most ardent of his friends. It is 
regarded as a death blow to the tariff. Indeed, Mr. Clay 
avows it to be so, but he claims this: That the people have 
willed its death, and that all he could do now, is to make that 
death slow. He has obtained a nine years' life for the fac- 
tories, which, without his aid, would have been cut down in 
two years. " rt To avoid the issue thus presented, the Anti- 
masonic members of the legislature in their address of this 
year to the people declared that " as a body, we are neither 
for the tariff nor against it. Nor for or against any of the 
other important projects of the day. We have no connection 
with them, but individually we act and think in reference to 
them according to the dictates of our judgments." 6 

The attitude of Weed and a few powerful Antimasons to- 
ward the Bank had been hostile for some time. Just before 
the election we find him warning the friends of the institution 
that if they expected the votes of the Antimasonic members 
they would be disappointed. After saying that he "hoped 
that the friends of the Bank will not attempt to renew a des- 
perate and unavailing conflict, * * * the Bank is doomed 
and nothing can arrest its fate; * * * the veto of the 
president received the sanction of the people," he said: 

Can the Bank hope, under the existing circumstances to obtain a re- 
charter? Certainly not by fair means; and it were better that a thousand 
such banks be annihilated than that other means should be brought into 
conflict with the purity of Congress. * The Bank must perish. 

The Kitchen cabinet and their King, * * * seek to make their op- 
ponents the supporters of the Bank. Shall we permit them to occupy this 
vantage ground? * * * It is absolutely certain that no party however 
pure, can rise with the U. S. Bank upon its shoulders, and it is equally 
certain that any party, however profligate, will triumph, if identified with 
Jackson in his crusade against the Bank, f 

With all these conflicts within the party, success in the elec- 
tion of 1833 was impossible, and the election terminated almost 
universally in favor of the Democratic party.' 7 All the sena- 
torial districts but the eighth elected Democratic senators; 
and in this district (the western), where Antimasonry had its 

a Albany Argus, March 14, 1833. 
b Albany Evening Journal, May 1. 1833. 

e Albany Evening Journal, October 25, 1833. See alro Albany Argus, October 26,1833. 
Weed, Autobiography, I, 424. 
d Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 435. Albany Argus, November 16,1833. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PAKTY. 425 

stronghold, A. H. Tracy, one of its most popular leaders, was 
elected by a vote of but 165. a Out of the 128 members of the 
assembly elected, lOi were Democrats. 6 Even the counties of 
Orleans, Chautauqua, Allegany, and Monroe gave majorities 
against the party in the west/ 

The election meant the death of the Antimasonic partly and 
the organization of the Whigs. Weed says: 

The election of 1833, demonstrated unmistakably not only that oppo- 
sition to Masonry as a party in a political aspect had lost its hold upon the 
public mind, but that its leading object, namely, to awaken and perpetu- 
ate a public sentiment against secret societies, had signally failed. The 
Jackson party was now more powerful than ever in three fourths of 
the States in the Union. The National Republican party was quite as 
fatally demoralized as that to which 1 belonged. This discouraging con- 
dition of political affairs * * * resulted in a virtual dissolution of the 
Antimasonic party. Ail or nearly all of our leading friends having no 
affinities of sentiment or sympathy with the Jackson party found them- 
selves at liberty to retire from political action or unite with the then largely 
disorganized elements of opposition to the national and State adminis- 
trations. I had by this time become irreconcilably opposed to the Regency, 
and fell naturally into association with their opponents. The "Evening 
Journal" went diligently and zealously to work organizing the elements of 
opposition throughout the State into what soon became the "Whig 
party."'' ' 

Many after reading this account will no doubt not entirely 
agree with Mr. Weed that the leading object of Antimasonry 
was to awaken and perpetuate a public sentiment against secret 
societies. At least it does not seem to be entirely true of the 
last few years of their existence. Even the statements of Mr. 
Hammond, shrewd and accurate historian as he was, seem 
naive in the light of the history of the events here recorded. 
Nevertheless, his statement of the transition of the Antimasons 
to the Whigs is of value and contains hints of the nature of 
the Antimasonic movement in its last stages. In the consider- 
ation of this party it is strange that the historians of America 
have put so much weight upon Antimasonry itself and so lit- 
tle upon its political nature. After what has been put for- 
ward in this account, it is well to give Mr. Hammond's ideas, 

<i Albany Argus, ibid. Hammond, ibid. 

l> Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 435. 

f Albany Argus r November 16, 1833. 

d Weed, Autobiography, I, 425. The name Whig was used for the amalgamated party 
in 1834. Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 442; Albany Argus, November 11, 
1834. 



426 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

just and liberal as they are, upon the ending of the old party 
and the beginning of the new. Says Mr. Hammond: 

It is remarkable, that when this attitude and name [Whig] was assumed 
by the National Republican party, the Antimasonic party instantly dis- 
banded. They seemed as if by magic, in one moment annihilated. That 
unbending, and as they were called proscribing party, comprising many 
thousands of electors, among whom were great numbers of men of high 
character for their talents and standing, and distinguished for their piety 
and sacred regard to the dictates of conscience, who had repeatedly most 
solemnly declared, they would never vote for an adhering Mason for any 
office whatever, in one day, ceased to utter a word against Masonry, 
assumed the name and title of Whigs, and, as it were, in an instant amal- 
gamated into one mass with the National Republicans, a party composed as 
well of Masons as of other citizens. This seems to be a high evidence of the 
community of feeling which existed among the members of the Antima- 
sonic party; and that what is called the discipline of party was, by no 
means, confined to the Democratic party in the State of New York. It 
may, however, be s#id, and it ought to be stated, because it is true, that 
the institution of Masonry had, in point of fact ceased to exist, and 
therefore, that the Antimasons had accomplished the object they originally 
had in view, which was the destruction of Masonry. But then it is 
equally true, that Masonry was as effectually demolished in November, 
1832, as in February, 1834. 

In conclusion, it seems upon a careful examination of the 
subject that we can call the only true Antimasonic party in 
New York that of Southwick of 1828. The development of 
the great strength of the party under 4he name of Anti- 
masonry we must attribute to the able leadership and fertile 
talents of Weed and his friends, aided by the political condi- 
tions of the times, and by many circumstances which will be 
discussed later on in this work. The spirit of Antimasonry 
which had found lodgment in the other States which we are to 
consider was a reflex of that in New York. It is to New 
York that the other States looked for guidance, for leaders, 
and to a large extent for political material and methods. 

Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 399. 



CHAPTER VI11, THE FORMATION OF THE PARTY IN 
PENNSYLVANIA, 



Upon examining the rise and progress of Antimasonry as a 
political party in the State of New York, we saw that it started 
in the western part of the State in the honest spirit of oppo- 
sition to the Masonic institution which marked the period 
directly after the murder of William Morgan. It was taken 
up by the religious sects of that part of the State and became, 
in fact, a religious crusade. We found also that it was soon 
brought into the politics of the day in local affairs, and finalty, 
through the skillful maneuvering of tactful and able leaders, 
was made to unite its cause with the remnants of the faction 
which had formerly supported the canal policy of De Witt 
Clinton. It is but natural, then, considering the tremendous 
excitement of the time, that we should see the same condi- 
tions elsewhere producing the same results. 

If we turn to the State of Pennsylvania we shall find here, 
too, the Democratic party triumphant and their opponents 
nearly blotted out of existence; we shall find a large State 
with many different physiographic conditions, and conse- 
quently different sectional desires and interests; we shall 
find here, too, a canal and improvement problem like that of 
New York, but vastly more complicated; we shall find here, 
too, not only radical religious sects like those of New England 
affiliations in central New York, but numerous German sects 
with tenets opposed to oaths, and also the Puritans of Penn- 
sylvania, the stern and radical Scotch-Irish Presbyterians. 
Considering the soil, it is not remarkable that the seeds of 
Antimasonry should have spread to Pennsylvania and found 
lodging in so well prepared a field as that which Lancaster 
County and the surrounding country presented. In the first 
place, this region was inhabited chiefly by German sectarians. 
Among these were the Mennonites, the German Reformed, 
the Amish, the Dunkards, the Moravians, the Schwenkfeld- 
ers, the "New Born," the Inspirationists, and many others. 
Besides these there was a large sprinkling of Quakers, Luth- 
erans, and Presbyterians. Many of these sects had provisions 

427 



428 



AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 



in their creeds against the taking of oaths/' hi the second 
place, it is to be noted that much of this region was physio- 
graphically connected with the Baltimore market, and its in- 
terests lay to the south along the Susquehanna and not to the 
west. When the State was spending millions of dollars con- 
necting Philadelphia with the West it can readily be seen that 
the internal improvement policy of the State would be un- 
popular in this section. In the third place, the lower tier of 
counties enjoyed a traffic east and west which the canal to the 
north would compete with and tend to destroy. 

Another section of the State which ofl'ered good ground for 
the "Blessed Spirit," as well as for a new and vigorous polit- 
ical party, was the western tier of counties. In the first 




Pennsylvania's Canal Problem. 

place, the people who inhabited these counties to the north 
were mostly of New England stock, allied to their kin of the 
" infected district" of New York, to which this portion of 
the territory was physiographically connected; while the peo- 
ple of the center and south were of a peculiarly severe type 
of Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, and much opposed to oaths 
and secret societies. In the second place this tier of counties 
was separated from the east by high mountain ranges. It 
was the special desire of the people of the West to connect 
their section of the country with Philadelphia in other words, 

a The Dunkards, the Quakers, and the Mennonites had such rules. Lehigh, Northamp- 
ton, and Berks were inhabited, to a large degree, by Lutherans or German Reformed, 
who had at the time no provisions against taking oaths. 



THE ANTIMASO.NIC PARTY. 429 

to have another Erie Canal. Pittsburg had already become a 
busy manufacturing center, and anxiously awaited the open- 
ing of the new canal to Philadelphia. The Democratic State 
administration, however, showed a tendency to procrastinate, 
and to dawdle away time and monej 7 in various branch canals a 
and so-called improvements. The indignation of the western 
people was great, and culminated in a very hostile attitude 
toward all improvements not directly to their benefit. It can 
be easily seen that there was read}^ soil for the Antimasonic 
movement in Pennsylvania, but it can be easily seen, also, that 
the thorough organization of a party founded upon such 
diverse interests was a matter of great difficulty. 

According to the Antimasonic accounts, the introduction of 
Antimasonry into Pennsylvania was attributed to the " visit 
of a Geneseean to the place of his former residence, and to the 
Batavia Advocate of 1827, which he carried in his pocket." 6 
Another account considers Whittlesey's activity in sending 
Antimasonic documents and papers into Pennsylvania as the 
chief cause of the movement there/ At any rate, efforts were 
made to organize the party and establish a paper in the west- 
ern part of the State as early as 1827,* and in 1828 Weed's 
paper was ordered from Allegheny, Somerset, Union, Lan- 
caster, and Chester counties/ The first really effective act, 
however, was the establishment of the Union Telegraph and 
the Antimasonic Herald, in Lancaster County.^ The first 
appearance of political Antimasonry occurred in the fall of 
this year, when the party put forward a candidate for Con- 
gress, William Hiester, of Lancaster Count} 7 , who was defeated 
by over 1,500 votes. It also put up a slight opposition in the 
Westmoreland-Indiana district, and also in Somerset, but 
elected nobody either to Congress or to the State legislature. 9 ' 

Antimasonry had little to do with the national election. 
The only counties giving Adams majorities were Delaware, 
Bucks, Adams, and Beaver. Jackson's total vote was 101,652, 
while Adams received 51,569. 7i It is a fact worth noting that 

"Report of canal commissioners, December 25, 1827. Shulze's veto message, April 20, 
1829, in Hazard, Register of Pennsylvania, III. 

& Report on the piess in the New York State convention of 1831. Albany Evening 
Journal. March 1, 1831. 

c Albany Evening Journal, June 13, 1831. 

dSeward's press report in United States convention at Philadelphia, September 11, 1830 

<-Weed, Autobiography, I, 310. 

/ Antimasonic Review, I, No. 12, 375. 

sr Pennsylvania Reporter (Democratic), Harrisburg, July 3, 1829. 

* Pennsylvania Reporter, Harrisburg, November 11, 1828. 



430 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

the Adams counties lay in the southeast and in the west. The 
German counties to the southeast, as a general thing, gave 
large majorities for Jackson. 

In order to trace, step by step, the growth of Antimasonry 
in Pennsylvania it is necessary to digress somewhat and to 
describe briefly the State and local issues before the people. 
The legislative session of the winter of 1828-29 is well worth 
our study in this connection, as its deliberations show us the 
sectional feeling then existing. 

The southeastern counties of Pennsylvania are some of the 
richest in the State. With fine fertile limestone valleys bor- 
dering on mountains full of minerals and with good water 
power, their natural outlets were to the south. The high 
mountain walls to the west and north seemed to preclude the 
idea of trade and commerce in those directions and the people 
of this region longed for the improvement of those natural 
outlets which would be the means of enriching and developing 
their fair valleys. It is small wonder, then, that they should 
have little interest in great canal projects then being under- 
taken and should seek other means of bringing their goods to 
market/' A project was therefore introduced into the legis- 
lature which in final form aimed to incorporate the Baltimore 
and Susquehanna Railroa'd Company, to construct a "railroad 
from the Maryland line * * * to some eligible and prac- 
tical point in the Cumberland Valley * * or to incor- 
porate a Pennsylvania company for that purpose." 6 

Preliminary to the above resolution was much debating 
pro and con. The opposition to the scheme was led by Phil- 
adelphia, and was the result of that city's efforts to check the 
trade to the south and receive it herself. The attitude of the 
city may be seen,by the following remarks: 

The people of these counties [southern] acknowledge that they opposed 
the canal system; their excuse is that they had no interest in it; they 
were unwilling to extend that to others from which they could derive no 
advantage, and as interest is the sole ground on which they placed that 
matter, it is but fair they should be answered with their own arguments. 
It is not to the interest of the State to permit the construction of the 
Baltimore Railroad, but obviously against it, and therefore the State is 
bound not to grant it. c 

It was said in this connection that the proper title of the act 
should be 4i An act to vest in the State of Maryland commer- 

a Pennsylvania Reporter, January 23, 1828. 
ft Pennsylvania Reporter, February 13, 1829. 
"Pennsylvania Reporter, January 30, 1829, Burden's speech. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 431 

cial jurisdiction over one-half the territory of Pennsylvania. " a 
We are not surprised to learn that the committee to whom 
the petitions were referred finally reported that the construc- 
tion of such roads within the borders of Pennsylvania by the 
Baltimore and Susquehanna Railroad Company would not be 
in accordance with public policy. b This matter was to be a 
bone of contention in the future and' a fruitful source of 
strength to the opponents of the Democratic Administration. 

In the session of the legislature, too, the loan for the canal 
system and improvements was roundly denounced by enemies 
of the canal and its branches. The size of the loan itself and 
the manner of securing it were especially attacked/ The 
South and Southwest, which had enjoyed a great deal of over- 
land traffic, felt the necessity of keeping the roads in order 
and of building new ones if they were to compete at all with 
the canal. They naturally grew indignant at the constant 
neglect of their interests while millions were being spent on 
a canal. Many speeches were made and petitions presented 
in favor of their cause, but they received scant attention. <* 

Although this was the year of the gubernatorial contest, yet 
the Antimasonic spirit remained for a long time dormant and 
apathetic. Finally, however, a convention assembled at the 
court-house in Harrisburg on June 25, in which delegates from 
the counties of Lancaster, Chester, Lehigh, Dauphin, Union, 
Somerset, Franklin, Erie, Mifflin, Westmoreland, and Indiana 
appeared. These counties, it may be observed, are in the 
southeastern, southern, and western parts of the State. The 
proceedings of the convention were much like the earlier con- 
ventions in New York. After the usual stock Antimasonic 
speeches and resolutions, the convention listened to a lengthy 
address by Frederick Whittlesey, of tl\e central committee of 
Rochester, N. Y. No doubt this had much inspiration in it, 
for the convention nominated for governor Joseph Ritner, of 
Washington County (in the western part of the State), a man 
of German parentage, a soldier of the war of 1812, and for- 
merly a speaker of the lower house/ The Democrats nomi- 

n Pennsylvania Reporter, January 30, 1829. 

& Report of committee on inland navigation and internal improvement, Pennsylvania 
Reporter, February 17, 1829. 

c Pennsylvania Reporter, April 17, 1829. The loan was to be secured through the 
Baring Brothers, a proceeding very unpopular in these times of intense Americanism. 

dSee Pennsylvania Reporter, April 21, 1829. 

Pennsylvania Reporter, June 26, July 3, 1829. Albany Argus, July 2, 1829. Lancaster 
Antimasonic Herald, July 31, 1829. 



432 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

nated George Wolf, of Northampton County, a Mason, who 
had been a Representative in Congress for three terms. 

The campaign which followed was quiet, and not at all char- 
acterized by the excitement which marked the early Antima- 
sonic movements in New York. In fact it was asserted by 
the Antimasonic leaders that because of the insufficient organi- 
zation in- a great many counties, it was not known generally 
that there was any opposition to Wolf. a What little excite- 
ment occurred was largely the result of the conversion to Anti- 
masonry of Ner Middles warth, of Union County, speaker of the 
lower house, who made the charge that the Masons approached 
him and assured him that he would be nominated for governor 
if he would become a Free Mason. 6 

The results of the election showed that the people of Penn- 
sylvania were ready for Antimasonry. Ritner polled 49,000 
votes and carried the counties of Adams, Bedford, Cambria, 
Chester, Crawford, Dauphin, Erie, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jef- 
ferson, Lancaster, Lebanon, Ly coming, Mercer, Somerset, 
Union, and Washington, and polled a heavy vote in Berks, 
Fayette, Greene, Lehigh, Mifflin, Montgomery, and W T est- 
moreland/' In general, his heaviest vote was in the southern 
and western parts of the Stated The Democratic papers con- 
ceded 15 members of the house and 1 member of the senate/ 
Harmar Denn}^, an Antimason, was also elected to Congress 
from the Pittsburg district. - ; ' 

The election of 1829 demonstrated the fact that a new and 
strong party had arisen in Pennsylvania. The leaders had 
obtained results far beyond their expectations. The remark- 
able suddenness of its rise can only be attributed to the fact 
that the elements were all there, and it required but thorough 
organization to make it a triumphant success. 

Seward's press report in the Antimasonic national convention, September 11, 1830. 

b Pennsylvania Reporter, August 21, 1829. 

c Pennsylvania Intelligencer, December 14, 1829. Albany Evening Journal, November 
11, 1830. Wolf's majority was about 27,000. Albany Argus, November 2, 1829. 

f*In the western part of the State, in Westmoreland, Allegheny, Fayette, and Greene, 
the Antimasonic vote was no doubt reduced by an act of the session of 1828, which pro- 
vided for the improvement of the Monongahela River from the city of Pittsburg to the 
Virginia State line. Work had not begun on this, however, at this time. Pennsylvania 
Reporter, October 9, 1829. 

eFrom the Bedford-Somerset district. See Pennsylvania Reporter, October 23,1829. 
Pennsylvania Intelligencer, Novembers, 1829. 

/Pennsylvania Reporter, December 1, 1829. Albany Argus, Decembers, 1829. Seward's 
press report in the Antimasonic Convention, Philadelphia, September 11, 1830. 



CHAPTER IX A WKAK LEGISLATIVE ORGANIZATION FORMED, 



The legislative session of the year 1829-30 was in man} 7 ways 
similar to that of the preceding- winter. The election of 
George Wolf, a strong exponent of internal improvements, 
was expressive of the desire of the people of Pennsylvania for 
the completion of the vast system of canals which was in prog- 
ress. This question involved many local issues and it was 
obvious that the immense sums required would not be voted 
by the legislature, except by a system of logrolling. The 
counties bordering upon the north and west branches of the 
Susquehanna wanted local improvements in these sections in 
return for their support of improvements in other quarters 
or for the main line of the canal. It was thus impossible to 
put all effort into one great canal from Philadelphia to Pitts- 
burg, and the consequent result was immense sums of money 
frittered away upon short lines in every direction. By the 
report of the committee of ways and means of this year, we 
find that the State had already contracted loans to the amount 
of $8,140,000 for improvements. 05 

It is not surprising under these circumstances that a new 
loan should be unpopular in many sections of the State. A 
bill was finally passed approving of a loan of $3,459,532 for 
the completion of such portions of canals and railroads as were 
under contract and for the payment of temporary loans. The 
Juniata division, the most difficult p^rt of the main line, re- 
ceived but $300,000, with provisions for a portage railroad 
over the Allegheny Mountains.* The few Antimasons in the 
legislature showed as yet little organization and voted with 

a Pennsylvania Reporter, February 28, 1830. 

b Pennsylvania Reporter, February 16, March 19, 1830. Primarily the branch canals 
were to follow the Susquehanna in order to form an outlet for the coal fields, but recently 
their advocates had grown more ambitious, and it was urged that the north branch could 
well connect with the New York system, while the west could be extended to open up 
the fine lands of northwestern Pennsylvania, and some even thought that it could be 
rx tended profitably to Lake Erie. 

H. Doc. 461, pt 1 28 433 



434 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

their sections on the local questions, while on the final vote 
they were nearly divided. As the opposition came mostly 
from the strong Antimasonic sections of the State a consider- 
ation of this opposition is of the utmost importance. a 

The southern portion of the State still clamored for appro- 
priations for turnpike roads. They claimed that their fail- 
share in the general welfare was denied them as the canal did 
not aid them. The roads were embarrassed with debt and it 
was claimed that they would have to be abandoned if not soon 
aided. b 

The controversies over the place of termination of the main 
canal in the west also caused much debate. Man^y preferred 
that the canal should terminate in Erie, while others desired 
to connect it with the Ohio system. Some favored the exten- 
sion to the Ohio system by way of the Beaver and Chenango 
rivers, while others favored French Creek connections to 
Lake Erie. Those in favor of the Beaver-Shenango line stren- 
uously opposed the appropriations for the French Creek line. c 
This is especially significant when we consider the fact that 
Erie County was one of the strongest Antimasonic counties in 
the State. 

The most significant act, perhaps, of this session, however, 
from an Antimasonic standpoint, and one which tended to 
weld the party together, was the bill which was introduced 
repealing the law to exempt the Masonic hall in Philadelphia 
from taxation. The debates were violent. The Masons 

a The Albany Argus speaks of 13 men who gave their votes to Middleswarth for speaker. 
Albany Argus, November 26, 1829. 

bin the course of debate upon this subject, Mr. Fetterman, of Bedford, said: "Had 
Pennsylvania made the leading routes herself and thrown them open free of toll, it 
would have enabled us to compete successfully with the great National road. When that 
road was first made, it had nearly depopulated 100 miles of your mountainous territory 
and ruined your citizens. However, Congress neglected it, and suffered it to go out of 
repair, and a reaction took place. Last winter Congress made an appropriation of 
$400,000 for its repair, and, sir, there are fearful forebodings that it may prove as preju- 
dicial to us as was the first commencement of that road * * * forebodings that may 
prove too true, unless some measures are adopted for our relief * * * if you will not 
adopt it, you had better at once strike off the proscribed section to Maryland and let us 
become a little State of our own." He said further that the route to the north of them 
had been aided by the laying out of the canal to such an extent " as to enable it to divert 
from them that business, and in some measure that carrying and traveling which they 
had formerly enjoyed * * * so that property had been depreciating in value, busi 
ness had been declining, and their general prosperity was on the wane. 1 ' Pennsylvania 
Reporter, February 12, 23, 1830. Members from Westmoreland, Cambria, Fayette, Frank- 
lin, and Cumberland spoke to the same effect. Pennsylvania Reporter, Febniary 19, 23, 
1830. 

c Pennsylvania Reporter, March 5, 26, 1830. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 435 

defended their order, and the Antimasons, especially the 
members from Lancaster, vehemently denounced it. There 
seemed to be no good reason why the building should not be 
taxed, and the motion was carried 53 to 31. a 

In order to appoint delegates for the coming national con- 
vention, an Antimasonic State convention was held at Harris- 
burg on February 26. Joseph Ritner was president and del- 
egates appeared from nearty all the counties. An event of 
the greatest significance to the cause in Pennsylvania was the 
fact that Thaddeus Stevens, of Adams County, took a seat in 
the convention. The delegates were appointed and the meet- 
ing adjourned without any remarkable results. 6 

The campaign of this year caused but little excitement. 
The Clay men and their Antimasonic supporters attacked the 
last legislature for its extravagance. It was charged that the 
"affairs of the State were in an embarrassing and ruinous sit- 
uation, with an impending load of taxes and a reckless and 
unattentive set of public servants. " c 

The Democrats called upon all who u are opposed to the 
ruinous system of national appropriations of millions for 
roads through our neighboring States, when Pennsylvania has 
had to make her own roads and improvements, * * * all 
who are in favor of Pennsylvania sharing in the surplus reve- 
nue of the United States in order to extinguish our State debt 
without taxation," to oppose the progress of the Clay party. 
Jackson was lauded to the people of Pennsylvania as the 
champion, the protector, and the encourager of domestic 
manufactures, and the Antimasonic party was denounced as 
being but an ally of Clay, a party gotten together by ambitious 
and disappointed politicians. d 

In the election which followed, the s Antimasons succee&ed 
in electing, according to Democratic accounts, 6 members to 
Congress, 4 Senators, and 27 members of the House/ They 

a Pennsylvania Reporter, February 9, 1830. 

b Pennsylvania Reporter, March 2, 1830. Albany Argus, March 8, 1830. Lancaster 
Antimasonic Herald, March 12, 1830. Seward's report In the national convention, Sep- 
tember 11, 1830, Philadelphia. These accounts all give but the barest outlines of the 
proceedings. 

< Lancaster Antimasonic Herald, October 1, 1830. 

d Pennsylvania Reporter, October. 9, 1830. See also Ibid., August 20, 1830. 

Pennsylvania Reporter, October 13, 17, 22. Albany Argus, October 18, 20, 21, 25, 
November 25, 1830. 



436 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

gained in the west, but lost votes in the east, especially in 
Lebanon and Dauphin. They claimed to have polled 54,000 
votes. a 

As in New York we can not attribute all of this success to 
the Antimasonic movement alone, but a large part of it was 
due to a combination of all elements of discontent under the 
guise of Antimasonry. No small share of its success must be 
laid at the door of the Clay party, which voted in the interior 
counties with the Antimasons. 6 



"Albany Evening Journal, October 26, November 11, 1830. 

b Albany Evening Journal, October 25, 1830. Lancaster Antimasonic Herald, November 
12,1830. 



CHAPTER X, THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION OF 1880-31 AND THE 
CANAL QUESTION, 



Governor Wolf's message to the session of 1830-31 speaks 
of internal improvements in the following manner: 

On the subject of internal improvements my opinion has ever been in 
favor of the policy ; and, although circumstances have occasionally occurred , 
calculated to dampen the ardor of its warmest friends, still I feel persuaded 
that a gradual progressive system of improvements by means of roads and 
canals such as this State might have prosecuted from time to time, with- 
out embarrassing her finances, or endangering her credit, would have been 
the policy. The great mistake on our part, has been in undertaking too 
much at once, which has obliged us from year to year since the commence- 
ment of our public improvements to borrow and to expend large sums of 
money, and to incur the payment of a heavy interest, without obtaining 
from them any adequate return. Although all the works that have been 
contracted for, have been finished or are in a state rapidly approximating 
to completion, yet until those in the east shall be so connected with those 
in the west as to form one entire connected chain of communication 
between Philadelphia and Pittsburg, the great emporium of the east and 
west, we can not expect to derive much advantage from them. 

The above has been quoted fully, not only because of its 
complete analysis of the problem before the people of the 
State, but also to show Wolf's policy at this particular time. 
He was to be constantly criticised in the future for favoring 
a widely extended and ruinous policy. It is safe to say that 
had he pursued the policy herein set down, however useless 

a " The connecting link necessary to complete such a line of communication between the 
east and west, as well as to give value to the works in that direction and render them 
useful to the people and profitable to the State, are the railroad from Columbia, in the 
county of Lancaster, to the city of Philadelphia, about 81 miles in extent, 40 miles of 
which * * * have been nearly completed." [Various other gaps in the line includ- 
ing the Allegheny Portage Railroad are mentioned, after which he goes on to say:] "The 
aggregate cost of constructing the several links * * * [is] a sum exceeding two mil- 
lion and a half, and may be safely set down at a sum not exceeding three millions of dol- 
lars. * * * I submit to the wisdom of the legislature, whether sound policy does not 
require that the connection mentioned should be formed with as little delay as possible, 
and whether the best interests of the Commonwealth in this particular are not intimately 
connected with its speedy completion." Message of Governor Wolf, Pennsylvania Re- 
porter, December 10, 1830. Hazard, Register of Pennsylvania, VI, 388. 

437 



438 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

it seems to run a canal through such a mountainous country, 
a great part of the opposition which he met from the counties 
on the main line would have been turned into support. There 
is no doubt also that the Democrats would not hav r e lost the 
support of the thrifty, debt-hating, tax-hating German popu- 
lation to the extent that they did. a As it was, logrolling proved 
too much for this policy. 

In this session the Antimasons showed in their vote for 
speaker that they existed as a party in the legislature and had 
gained in numbers. Middleswarth, their candidate, received 
24 votes to 20 for his opponent. b On local questions, as a 
general thing, we may say that they voted with their sections, 
although on the question of the expenditure of large sums for 
the branch canals they voted in opposition pretty solidly. 

Early in the session the members from the branch canal 
counties began a fight for their share in the public expendi- 
tures, and the claims of the West Branch, the Beaver Creek, 
and the French Creek divisions were earnestly advocated/ 
A bill was introduced, and almost the entire session was taken 
up with discussing this all-important subject. The friends of 
the Beaver and the French Creek divisions were fairly suc- 
cessful, as the former received $100,000, while the latter 
received $60,000.^ This was considered as equivalent to the 
securing of the ultimate extension of the work to Lake Erie 
and, as we have before noted, through the Antimasonic region 
of the northwest. The North and the West branches both 
received liberal appropriations. Indeed, the act was a dis- 
tinct victory for the branches. On March 21 Governor Wolf 
signed this bill and returned it to the house. In doing so he 
restated his former position, but submitted to the will of the 
majority/ 

Early in the year the Antimasons throughout the State 
began to hold local meetings in order to send delegates to the 
State convention to nominate delegates to the national con- 

a The Germans, as a whole, supported Jackson in 1828. Albany Evening Journal, 
October 25, 1831. Pennsylvania Reporter, October 28, 1831. 

ft Pennsylvania Reporter, December 10, 1830. Niles Register, 39, 276, says 25. 

< Harrisburg Chronicle, January 31, 1831. 

dHarrisburg Chronicle, March 24, 1831. 

e Pennsylvania Reporter, March 24, 1831. Hazard, Register of Pennsylvania, 7, 208. He 
wanted at this time to extend the branch canals only to the coal fields. He seems to 
have been greatly dissatisfied at the result. It is well to note this as it is in marked con- 
trast with his policy later on. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 439 

vontion. It is a suggestive and illuminating fact as to the 
political affiliations of Ant.imasonry in the State at this time 
that the delegates to the State convention from many of the 
counties were instructed to vote for only such delegates to 
the national convention as were known "to be in favor of 
nominating for President and Vice -President 

men who are friendly to a system of protection to 
the farmer and mechanic, and a liberal system of national 
internal improvement, and who have no connection with, but, 
on the contrary, are opposed to the Masonic combination. " a 

The State convention met the last of May and, in strik- 
ing contrast with New York, it was poorly attended and not 
very enthusiastic. Of 133 members who should have been 
present, but 61, from 26 counties out of 52, actually attended. 
The convention condemned Jackson because of his Masonry, 
advocated an acknowledgment from all judges that they were 
not Masons, and appointed 28 delegates to attend the national 
convention at Baltimore. A significant act was a resolution 
instructing the delegates to the national convention to give 
no support to Mr. Clay. That statesman, although a Mason, 
had many friends in the assembly, and a hot debate ensued. 
The resolution passed only w r hen it was modified by striking 
out Mr. Clay's name and extending the disqualification of 
Masonry to any candidate. 6 

The Antimasons showed a little spirit in the preparation 
for the contest of this year. Conventions were held, addresses 
were made, religious controversies were aroused, renuncia- 
tions of Masonry were printed, and all the paraphernalia of 
the party made its appearance. In the words of the Demo- 
.cratic papers: "Antirnasonic papers were established through 
the German sections of the State, Morganic books, almanacs 
and ridiculous Masonic bugaboo pictures were peddled and 
distributed without number where ver the people were supposed 
to be sufficiently credulous to be imposed upon." 6 ' 

These efforts had begun to bear fruit in the increasing op- 
position to the Masons, as evinced in the continual notices of 
the dissolution of lodges. In dissolving their lodges, the 
Masons often issued addresses, pleading with dignity innocence 

a Cumberland County meeting, Antimasonic Statesmen, Harrisburg, April 27, 1831. 
& Albany Argus, June 3, 16, 1831. Pennsylvania Reporter, May (31) ?, 1831. 
c Pennsylvania Reporter, October 28, 1831. 



440 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

of any conspiracy or design upon the public weal, and stating 
that they dissolved their associations only for the peace of 
society. In the words of the members of the George Wash- 
ington Lodge, of Franklin: " We know no duty which requires 
of us to continue an association when such continuance may 
distract society and separate those who ought to be friends; 
nor are we aware of any beneficial results likely to flow from 
an adherence to the order that will not be more than counter- 
balanced by the excitement which such an adherence ma}' 
perpetuate. " a 

In lines of national policy it is hard to see any great differ- 
ence between the principles laid down by the Antimasonic 
conventions and the strong protective tariff polic}* advocated 
in Governor Wolf's last message. 6 In fact, upon the leading 
questions of national polity, it is hard to see any difference 
between the Pennsylvania Democrats at this time and the fol- 
lowers of Clay. 

In the Antimasonic campaign literature of the da} T , we find 
very little positive policy advocated on the question of State 
improvements. The fact was that the party had within its 
ranks so many conflicting interests that sound political policy 
compelled them to criticise rather than to put forward any 
definite plan of their own. This is well illustrated b}^ the fol- 
lowing statement from the proceedings of the Dauphin Count}^ 
convention: "Let it not be said that we are opposed to State 
improvements.- No such thing, but we are opposed to placing 
the improvements of the State in the hands of the incompetent. 
We are opposed to lavishing the people's money on a* band 
of government favorites; and it is notorious that the State 
improvement (if it can be so called) is a wicked system, or 
rather practice of a profligate and profuse favouritism. " c 

Wolf was attacked as being the head of the S3 r stem. It was 
declared u that a State formerly so happ} 7 , is now troubled 
with a governor who is a Mason and a weak-heaYied man, by 
whose corrupt administration, connected with the cooperation 
of a wicked and wasteful legislature, a debt has accumulated 
to more than fifteen millions, and yet not a single one of our 

a Albany Evening Journal, December 30, 1831. 

<> Governor's message, Pennsylvania Reporter, December 10, 1830. Antimasonic States- 
man, July 6, 1831. 
c Antimasonic Statesman, August 7, 1831. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 441 

public works is entirely finished for which these millions are 
appropriated. And as it appears to us probable that Masonic 
officers, under the protection of the Masonic governor * * * 
make full use of the opportunity of wasting the money; we 
feel ourselves entitled to meet their mischievous conduct by 
uniting ourselves in order to keep these squanderers from 
* * * all public offices by our suffrages." 

The growing unpopularity of the Democratic National 
Administration, together with the attitude of Wolf, stated 
above, seems to have exerted a reviving influence upon the 
dying National Republican party. This is demonstrated by 
the success of the party in electing members to the lower 
house from Franklin, Delaware, Butler, Crawford, and other 
Antimasonic counties." 

To their reviving hopes, too, we can probably attribute the 
local divisions and the presence of volunteer candidates to 
which the Antimasons ascribed their defeat in Adams, Union, 
Huntingdon, Westmoreland, Dauphin, and York counties.* 
The Democratic accounts concede the election of 6 Antimasons 
and 4 Cla\ T men to the senate and 20 Antimasons and 4 Clay 
men to the house of representatives/ The loss to the oppo- 
sition in the western counties may be attributed to a good 
extent to the money voted by the legislature for internal 
improvements in that section, while the most potent factor in 
its defeat throughout the State was Governor Wolf's policy 
upon national questions. 1 

a Pennsylvania Reporter, October 21, 1831. Albany Argus, October 22, 24, 28, 1831. 
*>See Albany Evening Journal, October 25, 29, 1831. 
c Pennsylvania Reporter, October 28, 1831. 



CHAPTER XL THE ELECTION OF 1832 AND THE ANTI- 
JACKSON MOVEMENT, 



The main question of the session of 1831-32, as usual, was the 
canal question. Governor Wolf in his message gave a short 
history of the canal and deplored the tendencies toward diffu- 
sion and isolation in the application of the appropriations. 
He indirectly censured the legislature of 1831 for not having 
stopped this process, but, in almost direct contradiction to 
these utterances, toward the end of the same message, he 
mentions favorably the extension of the North Branch Canal 
and the Pittsburg-Lake Erie connection. The message marks 
a decided, though not yet fully developed, change in his 
policy." 

The canal bill precipitated the usual struggle. Great efforts 
were made by the members from the counties on the branches 
to get a share of the appropriations, while Philadelphia, whose 
interests lay in direct communication, opposed, as usual, all 
such appropriations. The opposition of Philadelphia was 
much resented in the country districts, and meetings in which 
resolutions were passed declaring u utter hostility to all inter- 
course by sale of our produce, or purchase of merchandise to 
or from any citizen of Philadelphia," were matters of every- 
day gccurrence. 6 

The act as finally passed provided that the railroad between 
the Susquehanna and Philadelphia should be completed, and 

n Message, December, 1831. Hazard, Register of Pennsylvania, VIII, 385. The canal 
system in 1831 embraced a canal and railroad from Philadelphia to Pittsburg, a distance 
of 393 miles; a canal and slack-water route from Clarks Ferry, on the Susquehanna River 
at the mouth of the Juniata, to the head cf the Wyoming Valley, upon the North Branch, 
112 miles; a canal and slack-water route from Northumberland up to the West Branch at 
Bald Eagle, 68 miles; and a canal from the Delaware tidewater to Easton; in all, a dis- 
tance of 700 miles of improvement, besides the projected works upon the Beaver Creek 
and French Creek divisions. Pennsylvania Reporter, August 3, 1832; Albany Evening 
Journal, December 27, 1832. 

l> Reports of meetings held at Williamsport, Lycoming County, and Wi Ikes barre, 
Luzerne County. Pennsylvania Telegraph (Antimasonic), March 24, 1832. 
442 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 443 

also the main canal between the terminus of the railroad at 
Columbia and the point of junction with the division of the 
same canal at Middletown, in the county of Dauphin. The 
completion of the portage railroad over the Alleghenies and 
the Franklin line of the Juniata division, also on the main line, 
were provided for. The appropriation for the Beaver Canal, 
after a long struggle, was finally struck out." On the whole, 
the bill can be called a victory for the Philadelphia party com- 
bined with the German anti-improvement elements. Gov- 
ernor Wolf, on returning the bill with his signature, March 
30, 1832, remarked: 

I trust * * * the representatives now assembled, will separate until 
justice shall, at least, have been so far done as to relieve the people of the 
North and West branches of the Susquehanna, and those on the Beaver and 
French creeks, along which extensive public improvements have been 
commenced, from the ruinous and deplorable condition in which the legis- 
lature of this State, should it stop at the point where the present bill leaves 
it, will have placed them. 6 

Governor Wolf was thus forced into a policy of wide exten- 
sion by an honest desire to protect the work alread} r done. 
We have seen, however, that in his message of 1831 he had 
shown a change of policy in this direction. There is a possi- 
bility that he foresaw the united opposition of the year 1832 
an opposition which was soon to become the basis of a strong 
political unity. Wolf goes on record from this on as decidedh r 
favoring a widespread and diffuse system of internal improve- 
ments, a policy which he gradually upheld more and more 
as he found that his chief support came directly from it. 

Another thing which was much discussed in this session was 
the repeal of the direct tax which had gone into operation on 
October 1. This tax was unpopular throughout the State, and 
especially in the conservative German anti-canal counties. An 
amendment to the canal bill was offered on March 8, propos- 
ing to repeal this tax, but was defeated, 76 to 22. It speaks 
little for the organization and tact of the Antimasonic leaders 
that five Antimasons voted against the repeal/ 

The party later used this bill against the administration, 
but those five relentless votes always stood forth to belie their 

a Pennsylvania Reporter, March 30, 1832. 

l> Pennsylvania Reporter, April 3, 1832; Hazard, Register of Pennsylvania, IX, 221. 
Pennsylvania Telegraph (Antimasonic), March 10, 1832; also, Ibid. .September 28, 1831, 
and September 19, 1832; Pennsylvania Reporter, September 14, 1832. 



444 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

statements. Indeed, in striking contrast with New York, the 
party shows a remarkable lack of able leaders. Throughout 
the year they show but little organization. The reason for 
this can be easily seen when the interests of such strong Anti- 
masonic regions as Erie and Lancaster are compared. As a 
general thing we find them, however, voting for the main line 
of canals against the branches/' Other elements of organiza- 
tion can be found in the contest over the election of speaker, 6 
and also in the fact that Richard Rush received their undivided 
support for United States Senator/ 

The Antimasonic State convention which met on Februaiy 
22, at Harrisburg, nominated Ritner for governor and in- 
dorsed Wirt and Ellmaker as national candidates of the party. 
They condemned the State administration, and made the 
charge that under the leadership of Wolf, a Mason, the gov- 
ernment was under Masonic influence. It was declared that 
"Masonry encourage's in the business and intercourse of life 
preferences for its own members, destruction of fair compe- 
tition, and is deepty prejudicial to the industry of others. It 
creates in favor of Masons a monopoly of public offices and 
public honors injurious to the services of the Republic, and a 
fraudulent invasion of the constitutional rights of the rest of 
the community." d 

The recent utterances of Wolf on the internal improvement 
question, together with a growing opposition to Jackson 
because of his known policy on the bank question and his 
suspected hostility to the protective tariff, made the nucleus 
of a party of anti-Wolf -anti-Jackson Democrats, whose chief 
leader was ex-Governor Schulze. This party, on January 9, 
met at Harrisburg and nominated Schulze for governor, made 
an electoral ticket, and appointed delegates to the Baltimore 
convention/ Governor Schulze's declination finally broke up 
the movement, important only in showing the drift of political 
sentiment. After he declined, however, he published a letter 

a Pennsylvania Telegraph, May 7, 1832. 

b Pennsylvania Reporter, December 9, 1831. 

c Pennsylvania Reporter, December 16, 1831. Rush, whose home was in York County, 
had become popular among the Antimasons because of his stirring letters on Freemasonry. 

d Proceedings of the convention. Pennsylvania Telegraph, February 25, 1832. Albany 
Evening Journal, February 29, 1832. 

e Albany Evening Journal, January 16, February 29, 1832. Niles's Register, XLII, 274. 
Niles says: "Governor Schulze while in office took an obstinate stand against extravagant 
expenditures for improvements." Niles's Register, January 8, 1832. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 445 

which served as good campaign literature to opponents of the 
party in power. In this letter he stated the change in his sen- 
timents and acknowledged that the course pursued by General 
Jackson since his elevation to the Presidency had compelled 
him "to come to the conclusion that neither his education, his 
acquirements, or his previous habits, have, in anywise, fitted 
him for the station to which he now, after experience, and in 
violation of his pledge, desires to be elected." a 

The regular Democratic convention, which met in March, 
nominated Wolf for governor arid ratified Jackson's nomina- 
tion. As somebody must be made a scapegoat for Jackson's 
unpopular policy in Pennsylvania, William Wilkins was nomi- 
nated for V ice-President instead of Van Buren. The position 
of the Democratic party in Pennsylvania may be seen in the 
resolution which passed the House of Representatives unani- 
mously on June 1 in favor of the tariff and signifying its 
approval of the Bank in the following words: "And be it 
further resolved by the authority aforesaid that connected as 
the prosperity of agriculture and manufactures are with the 
successful financial operations and sound currency of the 
countiy, we view the speedy rechartering of the Bank of the 
United States as of vital importance to the public welfare." 6 
These resolutions were in the main approved by Wolf , c and the 
"heads of the departments drank toasts on July 4, strongly 
and unequivocally supporting the same sentiments. " rf 

The Clay men were jubilant over this turn of affairs and 
many of them urged the support of Wolf. They said: 

Here then are Gov. Wolf's opinions on the subject of the United 
States Bank * * * in part on the American system, and what Na- 
tional Republican can desire anything better? Has any man seen any- 
thing from Governor Wolf's pen or heard anything from his tongue that 
contradicts these sentiments? We have never seen or heard anything of 
the kind. If Wolf should be chosen, the National Republicans 

taking no special part against him, his party leaders, knowing they are 
liked a.t Washington little better than they like Jackson and his course, 
would they not relax their efforts and let the electoral election take care 
of itself, leaving the ground to us and the Antimasons, and a great many 
of their party throwing in for our ticket a silent vote? f We are in favor 



a Ohio State Journal, November 2, 1832. 

6 Albany Evening Journal, June 8, 1832. 

c He added the word "judicious" to the tariff resolution. 

d Pennsylvania Telegraph, August 9, 1832. 

*Harrisburg Gazette (Clay), September 11, 1832. 



446 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

of George Wolf because the same principles that led us to come out in 
opposition to General Jackson and in favor of Henry Clay and John Ser- 
geant induce us to support George Wolf. b 

However, after the veto of the United States Bank (July 
10), Wolf did not break with Jackson, but accepted the inev- 
itable result. In spite of the tenor of the above quotations, 
there is little doubt that he lost the support of a great part of 
the National Republicans, who thought that had he been per- 
sistent enough in his policy the Bank would have been saved. 6 

The Clay convention which had been held on May 5 had not 
nominated a governor, but had adopted an electoral ticket, 
which, foreseeing coming complications, it had left under the 
power of the State committee. The latter publicly stated 
that they preferred Wolf to Rltner, but, having awaited for 
some time his renunciation of Jackson, and finding on the con- 
trary that he was about to support him, they urged the sup- 
port of Ritner. They promised not only the support of the 
body at large, but also of the Masons, because, they said, 
' ' Masons will not stand by and see Gen. Jackson elected and 
the Constitution prostrated without exerting every nerve in 
their power to prevent so great an evil. Masonry has thus 
become not the principle but the collateral and subordinate 
consideration." 

Their next move was to appoint a convention for October 
15, with the proviso that "if it shall then appear that we can 
not elect our own electoral ticket, and that by supporting it, 
we shall render the success of the Jackson ticket probable, we 
are prepared to abandon it." rf We may truly say that the 
Whig party of the future in Pennsylvania had now been born. 
As we have seen, the difficulties were not over with, however. 
The committee acknowledged that their sentiments were not 
universal throughout the State. 

Although Wolf had turned about, Ritner, on the other hand, 
met the issue squarely. In a letter written July 7, 1832, he 
said: 

No consideration should induce Congress to adjourn before that question 
[the Bank] is finally disposed of. It is impossible to forget the deplorable 



a See Harristmrg Gazette, October 2, 1832. Quotation from the Patriot and Shield. See 
also Harnsbnrg Gazette, September 11, 1832. 

b Pennsylvania Intelligencer (Clay,), September 6, 1832. 

c Address to the people of Pennsylvania, Albany Evening Journal, September 24, 1832. 
See, also, Pennsylvania Telegraph, July 4, 1832. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTF. 447 

condition of tin 1 < JoviTiinient during the late war for want of such a Bank, 
and the wretched state of the currency up to the time the Bank commenced 
operations was no less so. I can scarcely persuade myself that the man 
who can oppose rechartering the Bank, with all these facts staring him in 
the face, possesses either a sound head, or a good heart. 

His attitude upon the canal question is not so clear. As 
has been pointed out, it was caused by- the conflicting interests 
of his supporters. We have *io words of his own upon this 
subject, except the vague generalization that he was opposed 
to enormous expenditures. He was thought to be on the whole 
in favor of expending the State mone}^ on the main line. The 
Democrats put his position as follows: 

Joseph Ritner, after voting for canals and railroads which have involved 
the State in all her difficulties and her present taxes, is now supported as 
the anti canal candidate in the an ti canal counties where his friends pledge 
him to sacrifice all the money expended and put a stop to all future appro- 
priations to complete the work commenced by his own votes; and in the 
canal districts, his friends support him as a friend to the whole system, 
branches and all. & 

If we turn to the Antimasonic newspapers, we find all kinds 
of conflicting and obscure statements. The Pennsylvania 
Telegraph contents itself with saying that his "views on this 
subject [canals] are too well known to create any alarm. The 
journals of the House while he was a member * * * dis- 
close his views upon the canal system." It repudiates indig- 
nantly the idea that he was not a friend to the system/ The 
Lancaster Antimasonic Herald, on the other hand, makes him 
emphatically opposed to the system/ 7 In a later edition the 
Telegraph changes around enough to condemn Wolf for ap- 
proving of the appropriations for the Beaver and Shenango 
route in the session of 1831, e while the Beaver Argus, another 
Antimasonic paper, advocated the election of Ritner u because 
he voted on the ninth of April, 1827, for a survey of the 
Beaver and Shenango route of canal, and because, as he says, 
Gov. Wolf is opposed to the Beaver and Shenango route. "^ 

All this shows how very hard it was to unite the opposition 

a Pennsylvania Reporter, June 19, 1835. 
l> Pennsylvania Reporter, Octobers, 1832. 
c Pennsylvania Telegraph, May 2, 1832. 
d Lancaster Antimasonic Herald, August 28, 1832. 

Pennsylvania Telegraph, September 5, 1832. Pennsylvania Reporter, September 7, 
1832. 
/Quoted from Beaver Argus, September 1, in Pennsylvania Reporter, September 7, 1832. 



448 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

upon this one vital question. A few more examples will show 
more fully the sectional nature of the contest. 

The Eastern Germans being naturally a conservative people 
and particularly opposed to heavy taxes, it was natural that 
the anticanal element should appeal to their prejudices. It 
was charged by the Democrats (and there appears Antimasonic 
evidence to sustain the charge) that Ritner and his followers 
excited the fears of these people by disparaging the value of 
the improvements, and also by " insinuating that the opening 
of the trade with the Western country would bring such a 
flood of Western produce to the Eastern market as would re- 
duce the price and consequently the value of the property in 
that section. " a 

In the West, especially around Pittsburg, the Democrats 
were urged to abandon Jackson for three reasons: First, be- 
cause of local manufacturing interests; second, because of the 
supposed effect on business of the veto of the Bank; and third, 
because of his veto of a bill for the improvement of the Mo- 
nongahela River. 5 Ritner was lauded as the only man who 
would bring about direct communication with the East/ The 
effect was immediately apparent; a great meeting was held in 
August in this section in favor of Ritner, and the Democrats 
admitted a large secession of former Jackson men.^ 

In the northwestern part of the State the Wolf advocates 
strove to overcome the strong Antimasonic spirit by telling 
the people that "the only hope of seeing a completion of the 
canal to this region rests in the re-election of Gen. Wolf,"* 
while along the branches they added considerable to their 
strength through a forged letter bearing the name of Ritner, 
which stated that if elected he would oppose the extension of 
the work in this direction. Ritner corrected this, but not 
until it had done its work.-^ 

Besides the issues presented above, the Antimasons, doubt- 
less imitating their brethern of New York, appealed to the 
popular prejudices of the day. An instance of how the 

a Pennsylvania Reporter, July 3, 18&. See, also, Lancaster Antimasonic Herald, August 
21, 1832. 

i> Pennsylvania Intelligencer, September 27, 1832. 
c Pittsburg Gazette, August 3, 1832. 
(i Pennsylvania Reporter, September 21, 1832. 
('From Erie Observer, in Pennsylvania Reporter. August 10, 1832. 
/ See letter with Ritner's remarks, Albany Evening Journal, November 6, 1832. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 449 

intense democracy and patriotism of the day was used for 
this purpose may be seen from the following extract: 

The administration have not, and dare not deny that the state debt is 
not only held in Great Britain but by British nobility. For the informa- 
tion of the people we reassert the fact, that his Royal Highness, Charles, 
Duke of Brunswick, nephew of William the Fourth, 8^* King of the 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, owns nearly, or about one 
million of the state debt and that the citizens of Pennsylvania must pay 
annually to his Royal Highness about fifty thousand dollars, as a tribute 
for interest. 

The temperance movement, then growing in power, was 
treated in a similar manner. Governor Wolf had recom- 
mended in a message that the use of whisky should be forbid- 
den to laborers on the public works. 6 This action tended to 
make him popular with the temperance advocates, and was 
widely published by his supporters/ Unfortunately for his 
cause, however, the good effects of his action were lost by 
the licensing of the oyster cellars of Philadelphia with his 
approval. The Antimasons charged him with being in favor 
of u any scheme that promises him popularity, as is proved 
by his professing himself the friend of temperance, and licens- 
ing a thousand grogshops, that he may gain the votes of 
Philadelphia. "<* 

The election was close. Wolf received 91,235 and Ritner 
88.186 votes/ The Democratic papers state that 15 Democrats, 

a Pennsylvania Telegraph, September 26, 1832. See also, for similar remarks, Lancaster 
Antimasonic Herald, August 21, 1832; Pennsylvanian, October 12; Albany Argus, October 
24, 1832. 

b Harrisburg Chronicle, April 4, 1832. 

c Temperance conventions were being held at this period throughout the State. (Har- 
risburg Chronicle, February 7,1831.) 

d Pennsylvania Telegraph, March 31, 1832. See also ibid., March 3, August 1, Septem- 
ber 19, 1832. 

The fact that Ritner was a farmer and Wolf a lawyer was made the most of. Ritner 
was described as the "real and practical plowman * * * the Pennsylvania farmer 
whose good husbandry, assisted by competent, intelligent, and industrious workmen 
* * * would put our good old farm into order by repairing the fences, clearing out 
the ditches, draining the meadows, driving the cows out of the corn and destroying the 
Wolves and Foxes that have too long run riot among our flocks and hen-roosts." ( Penn 
sylvania Whig, quoted in Albany Evening Journal, May 7, 1832.) See also, for similar 
expressions and criticisms, Pennsylvania Telegraph, March 31, August I.September 19,26, 
1832. The Telegraph at this time was edited by an artist in scurrility, Theophilus Fenn, 
who is described by the Democrats as a "Yankee adventurer." He was originally editor 
of the Lancaster Antimasonic Herald. He was constantly in trouble, and was at one 
time forbidden the floor of the House. 

e Albany Argus, October 24, 1832. See also ibid., October 12 and 13; Pennsylvania Re- 
porter, October 19, 1832. 

H. Doc. 461, pt 1 29 



450 



AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 



8 Antimasons, and 5 Clay men were elected to Congress; to 
the State senate, 21 Democrats, 9 Antimasons, and 2 Clay men; 
while to the house, composed of 100 members, 32 Antimasons 
were chosen. a In general the Ritner strength was in the 
southeast and south and in the western tier of counties.* 

The defeat was a great blow to both the National Repub- 
licans and the Antimasons. The general cause ascribed was 
that "in the canal districts the people were apprehensive that 
Ritner would not finish the Branch canals. " c Other causes also 




Vote for governor of Pennsylvania, 1832. (Philadelphia city for Ritner but the county 
was carried by Wolf.) 

were sought. It was thought that the Government officials 
exerted an undue influence, and that in the canal counties the 

a See Pennsylvania Reporter, October 19, 1832. Hazard, Register of Pennsylvania, X, 
265, says 4 Antimasons were elected to Congress, 8 to the senate, and 34 to the lower house. 

&He carried the city of Philadelphia, and Delaware, Chester, Lancaster, York, Union, 
Franklin, Dauphin, Lebanon, Huntingdon, Allegheny, Indiana, Beaver, Mercer, Wasl - 
jngton, Mifflin, Juniata, Adams, Lehigh, Erie, Somerset, and Green counties, while very 
jarge votes for him were cast in Philadelphia County, Montgomery, and Butler. Th _ 
Democrats assigned this great increase to the "discontent with Gov. Wolf in conse- 
quence of the great expenses incurred by the extensive system of improvements and the 
taxes levied." (Pennsylvanian, in Albany Argus, October 15, 1832.) They also asserted 
that " in the German counties the enemy electioneered their tickets 'Jackson, Ritner, 
and no Taxation,' and carried thousands with them on this deceptive representation." 
(American Sentinel, October 16, Albany Argus, October 18, 1832.) In Philadelphia, Ritner 
obtained a majority of 1,379, which was ascribed to the existence of the Bank in that city. 
(Albany Argus, October 12, 1832; Poulson's Advertiser, October 10, 1832.) In 1829 Ritner 
received but 546 votes to Wolf's 11,393 in the city (Albany Argus, October 20, 1829), while 
in 1830 but 70 Antimasonic vote were cast there. (Albany Argus, October 18, 1830.) 

c Albany Evening Journal, October 16, 1832. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PAETY. 451 

engineers distributed forged letters, and, as in "Cambria 
County, circulated handbills accusing Ritner of deism. " a 

The Clay papers laid the blame on the Antimasons entirely, 
accusing them of deserting the ticket in large numbers. The 
attitude of the radical Antimasons also displeased them, as 
they believed they (the Antimasons) turned away many Masons 
who would otherwise have voted for the ticket. " The bitter- 
ness displayed by Richard Rush in his occasional effusions," 
it was said, fck was calculated to disgust the friends of Mr. 
Clay wherever they have been circulated/' 6 

Both sides began to prepare immediately for the coming 
national election. The opposition saw that their only hope 
rested in the most perfect union and organization, and every- 
thing was done with a view to this end. The National Repub- 
lican convention met in accordance with the call of the State 
committee at Harrisburg on October 16, and adopted the fol- 
lowing resolutions: % . 

Resolved, That to preserve the Constitution of our beloved country and 
to enable the Anti -Jackson party of Pennsylvania to present an undivided 
front in the approaching election, this convention resolves to withdraw 
the electoral ticket adopted at their session in May last. 

Resolved, That this convention adopt the electoral ticket formed by the 
Anti-Jackson convention which assembled at Harrisburg on the anniver- 
sary of the birthday of Washington, in February last, and earnestly rec- 
ommend that ticket to the support of the National Republican party, c 

As to whether this ticket was pledged to vote for Wirt or 
not it is hard to say. It was probably not, for in response to 
the demand for the pledges the Pennsylvania Telegraph 
attempted to produce them, but published only four dubious 
statements. One of these, from a Philadelphia elector, will 
serve as an example. After pledging- himself, the gentleman 
said: 

But you will readily conceive that there may, before the election, be 
such a change of circumstances that the public interest would require a 
change of electors, and such too as would be appointed by the Antima- 
sonic convention were they in session. <* 

We have, then, here an arrangement similar to that in New 
York. There is every reason to think that had Clay had a 

a Pennsylvania Telegraph, October 15 (?), 1832. 

b Columbian Sentinel, Boston, November 9, 1832. 

c Pennsylvania Intelligencer, OctberlS, 1832; Albany Evening Journal, Octber 23, 1832, 

d Pennsylvania Telegraph, March 28, 1832. 



452 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

chance of success this ticket would have been thrown for 
him. a 

Desperate efforts were made to bring in the wavering Ger 
man vote for Wirt. From the first they had been flattered 
with the idea that they were to vote for a German ticket. 
Said the Telegraph: 

The Antimasonic ticket for the office of president and vice-president of 
the United States, is the first ticket composed of German descendants that 
was evjer presented to the United States, and it would be a libel upon the 
national character of the German population of the state to suppose that 
when they are .presented with candidates from the descendants of their own 
countrymen, possessing as they preeminently do * * * the avowed 
determination to support the " supremacy of the law," & that they will 
abandon them. * * * The German patriotism that fills the heart of 
the freemen of this state will triumphantly sustain these men in November 
next, c 

Although every effort was made to hold them 

The German Antimasons * * * deserted their own electoral nomi- 
nations in a body, and went to the polls hurrahing for "Sheneral Shack- 
son," as in 1824 and 1828.^ 

Jackson polled 90,983 votes to 66,716 for his opponents. 
The coalition carried only Adams, Beaver, Bucks, Chester, 
Delaware, Erie, Franklin, Lancaster, and Philadelphia city, 
while it polled a large vote in Montgomery, Allegheny. 
Dauphin, and Huntingdon. 6 

The Antimasons ascribed their defeat to the "all-pervading 
popularit}^ of Jackson, 'V together with the fact that the con- 
test between the Antimasonic and Clay parties had been car- 
ried on in many sections to a very late hour, so that "when 
the Clay ticket was withdrawn sufficient time did not remain 
to explain the object and effect of the withdrawal."^ They 
also charged desertion of the ticket by the Clay Masons/ but, 
on the other band, there is no doubt that many Antimasons 

a Many prominent Antimasons seem to have believed that the ticket was pledged to 
Wirt. The members of the committee of superintendence of Philadelphia evidently 
thought this was the case, although there seems to be no positive proof of such a pledge. 
See American Sentinel, quoted in Albany Argus, Octber 25, 1832. 

b A phrase used by Wirt in his acceptance speech. 

c Pennsylvania Telegraph, August 1, 1832. 

rfNew York Commercial Advertiser, quoted in Ohio State Journal, December 1, 1832. 

e Albany Argus, November 27, 1832; Columbian Sentinel, Boston, November 26, 1832. 

/ Pennsylvania Telegraph, November 21, 1832. 

g Pennsylvania Telegraph, November 14, 1832. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 



453 



voted for Jackson because they thought the ticket would vote 
for Clay anyway if elected. The Pittsburg Gazette said: 

In Allegheny County many Antimasons who had been Jacksonites 
were alarmed, and became suspicious that the Antimasonic electoral 
ticket would, if elected, vote for Henry Clay, * * * and even some of 
the Clay men, with more zeal than discretion, propagated the same 
opinion. * * * Under these circumstances * * * many who had 
not yet overcome the strong prejudices which they had against Mr. Clay, 
concluded that, if they must vote for a Mason they would prefer Gen. 
Jackson or not vote at all." 




As in New York many sincere Antimasons became disgusted 
at the political juggling going on, and the leaders found to 
their sorrow that they had overshot the mark in their efforts 
for success. 

The Cla}^ papers ascribed the defeat to a letter written b} T 
Richard Rush to a man in Boston, who published it, so that it 
was received in Pennsylvania just before the election. The 
letter contained many of Rush's most radical views upon 
Masonry. "From the moment we saw that letter," said the 
Columbian Sentinel, "our confidence in the vote of Pennsyl- 
vania was destroyed. If people will cut their own throats, 
there is no helping it.'" 1 * "In the city of Philadelphia," said 
another account, "the letter was disregarded, but in York 

Pittsburg Gazette (Antimasonic), quoted in Pennsylvania Telegraph, November 
14, 1832. 
l> Columbian Sentinel, Boston, November 26, 1832. 



454 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

County the residence of Mr. Rush, and elsewhere the Na- 
tional Republicans were equally enraged and disgusted at the 
letter, and in York they refused to vote at all, or, in the 
moment of indignation, threw their votes for Jackson. " a 

It is very evident from the above that the charge made by 
the Antimasons that the Clay men had deserted them was not 
wholly unfounded. Here, again, is evidence of similar phe- 
nomena to those in New York State, although on the whole we 
can say that there was less organization than in that State. A 
little comparison of votes in this connection will make clear 
the situation in Pennsylvania. By the returns it is evident 
that although Jackson had a majority of 24,267 and Wolf 
3,049, yet, as the Democratic papers point out, Wolf had 
91,235 votes to Jackson's 90,983. Ritner's large vote was 
occasioned by the strong support he received in the eastern 
anti-improvement counties. Berks gave Jackson a majority 
of 3,322 votes, yet Wolf's majority was but 323. In Lebanon 
Jackson's majority was 212, yet Ritner beat Wolf in this 
county 904 votes; and in Union Ritner's majority was 1,110, 
whereas Jackson beat the Antimasonic candidate for Presi- 
dent by 193 votes. These counties were all anti-improvement, 
German counties. On the other hand, it is probable that 
W r olf, because of his previous National Republican polic}^, 
received some votes that were also thrown for Clay. 6 

Antimasonry had received a blow from which it took a long 
while to recover. It did not die out, as in New York, but 
lingered on to suddenly burst into strength again when the 
opposition to Jackson had grown strong. The next period 
we are to consider presents to us at first a receding of the 
movement. It seemed for a moment as if the storm had spent 
its force, but it was soon lashed into a fury again through 
the genius of one of the greatest fanatical leaders the country 
has ever produced Thaddeus Stevens. Antimasonry in 
Pennsylvania, unlike that in New York, had needed a leader; 
it now received a mighty one. 

New York Commercial Advertiser (Clay), quoted in Ohio State Journal (Clay), Decem- 
ber, 1, 1832. 
ft See very good summing up of conditions in Pennsylvania Reporter, June 19, 1835. 



CHAPTER XIT-A PERIOD OF DECLINE, 



The legislative session and in fact the whole political year 
1832-33 presents little of an instructive or interesting nature. 
The opposition being demoralized showed little spirit and there 
was none of the fierce controversy and sectional bitterness of 
the preceding year. Wolf, taking his reelection as the voice 
of the people, continued his former canal policy without op- 
position," and in general the Democrats did what they pleased. 
They were aided in many of their plans by the National Re- 
publicans who felt bitter toward the Antimasons for their 
desertion of the national electoral ticket. This was evident 
upon the organization of the house in the election of speaker 
and of State printer. 6 

A long struggle took place in this session over the election 
of United States Senator. The three principal candidates were 
Richard Rush, McKean, and Sergeant. An attempt was made 
to unite the Clay and Antimasonic votes upon Sergeant, but 
the plan was blocked by the friends of Rush/ The hostility 
of the Antimasons was no doubt the result of the ill will the 
parties bore each other. McKean was a strong candidate 
because of his opposition to the constitutional convention and 
to Van Buren and because of his support of the United States 
Bank/* The contest took up much of the session, and many 
ballotings were held without result/ 

a Message, Hazard, Register of Pennsylvania, IX, 221. 

b Pennsylvania Intelligencer, December 10, 1832. Pennsylvania Reporter, December 
6, 7, 1832. A National Republican, Anderson, of Delaware, was elected speaker of the 
house, and Francis Shunk, a Jackson man, was elected clerk. 

c Lancaster Antimasonic Herald, November 22, 1832. Pennsylvania Reporter, Novem- 
ber 30, 1832. 

It was urged by the Antimasonic papers supporting Rush that "although Sergeant is 
not a mason, yet he is one of the bitterest foes our principles can meet with and conse- 
quently they [the legislature] had as well directly vote for a mason as a man of the 
above class. We have nothing to do as a party but to look to our principles let the con- 
sequences be as they may." York Antimasonic Republican, quoted in Pennsylvania 
Reporter, December 18. 1832. 

a Niles Register, XLIII, 274. Pennsylvania Reporter, October 18, 1832. 

Pennsylvania Reporter, December 18, 1832. Albany Evening Journal, December 27, 
1832. On the seventeenth trial the vote stood McKean 50, Rush 18, Sergeant 2. It was 
decided the next session. The Antimasons deserted Rush because of the fact that he 
wrote a letter sustaining the President in the removal of the deposits. Pennsylvania 
Intelligencer, December 9, 1833. McKean was elected. Niles Register, XLV, 294. 

455 



456 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

The Antimasonic convention was held on March 11, 1833. 
It was of little political significance except in so far as it was 
a rally and a reassertion of the fundamental principles. 
Speeches were made lauding the struggle under the discourage- 
ments of the past and praising particularly the work of the 
convention of 1829, " which amid discouragements, and under 
the taunts of Masonic devotees, firmly led the way as a faith- 
ful pioneer in the cause of equal rights and unshackled repub- 
licanism." 

There is nothing in the meager accounts of this convention 
that would lead us to suppose that the organization of the 
party in Pennsylvania had reached that state of affairs that 
it did in New York where true Antimasonry was forgotten. 
In fact, the whole course of the party in Pennsylvania may 
be said to have been a great deal less inconsistent and more 
true and honest in purpose. 

The most significant fact of the year, and perhaps in the 
history of Antimasonry in Pennsylvania, was the election of 
Thaddeus Stevens as representative from Adams County. & 

The election this year, as might be expected, did not show 
the union of forces of the previous election, the National 
Republicans, especially in the West, supporting their own 
candidates/ The campaign, according to the Democratic 
accounts, resulted in the election of 23 Antimasons to the 
lower house and 10 National Republicans and 7 Antimasons to 
the senate/ It is apparent that the party did not lose a great 
deal in spite of its disorganization. Their losses they charged 
to the hostility of the National Republicans/ 

a Lancaster Examiner, quoted in Albany Evening Journal, March 13, 1833. 

bThis great leader is described by his enemies at this time as a "lawyer of much cun- 
ning and adroitness, and of considerable celebrity. He was originally an Eastern man, 
and has been all his life an uniform and undeviating Federalist, a warm friend of John 
Q. Adams and as violent an opponent of General Jackson. He is now the great luminary 
of Antimasonry in Adams County, within whose orbit all the lesser planets of the new 
system revolve and reflect the light he dispenses." Pennsylvania Reporter, March 23, 
1830. 

c Miles Register, XLV, 160. 

d Pennsylvania Reporter, October 18, 1833. For other election returns, see Albany 
Evening Journal, October 16, 19, 1833. Pennsylvanian, October 16, 1833. 

e Albany Evening Journal, quoted in Albany Argus, October 25, 1833. 



CHAPTER XIII THE BANK QUESTION AND THE REORGAN- 
IZATION OF ANTI-JACKSON FORCES, 



The period which we are now to consider shows us many 
radical changes in the policy of the Antimasonic party. The 
first thing noticeable is in the election of speaker in the 
lower house. On the first ballot the Antimasons voted as a 
body for John Strohm, one of their own number, giving him 
21 votes. On the second ballot, however, we find them uniting 
with the Clay party on Patterson, of Washington, and electing 
him by a vote of 53 to 41. n 

This marks the beginning of an alliance which was to last as 
long as Antimasonry was a party of strength in Pennsylvania. 
On the other hand, the Democratic party exhibited once more 
tendencies to disintegrate because of its lack of sympathy with 
the Jacksonian policy. Indications of this were shown when 
the members of the party held a meeting in which resolutions 
were passed upholding the President's policy. Dissatisfaction 
led to another meeting in which his enemies seemed to be in 
the majority. This meeting, or "adjourned meeting," as it 
was called, condemned Jackson's Bank policy, charged him 
with giving the public treasure to favorite corporations, of 
forestalling Congressional action, and of tampering with the 
currency. b These meetings are but indications of the friction 
which had for some time been growing and which was soon 
destined to break the party in the State in twain. 

The question of the banks was a delicate one, in Pennsyl- 
vania particularly. Already, in the previous Presidential 
campaign, the Democrats of the State had been accused of 
supporting corrupt State banks in opposition to the United 
States Bank/ a charge which the opposition did not suffer to 
die out. In this session of the legislature a member from 

a Pennsylvania Reporter, December 20, 1833. Niles Register. XLVII, 163. 
b Pennsylvania Intelligencer, April 10, 1834. 
c Pennsylvania Telegraph, August 1, September 19, 1832. 

467 



458 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

i 

Philadelphia offered a resolution in the lower house to investi- 
gate the State banks, but the resolution was killed, and the 
National Republicans were thus able to impute to the Demo- 
crats the suppression of such an inquiry in order to shield the 
State banks. a Whatever may have been the attitude of some 
of the Democrats toward these institutions, Wolf, to his credit 
be it said, kept a strong rein upon them and repeatedly vetoed 
bills for their establishment. In his message of December, 
1834, he states his attitude emphatically and speaks of the 
banking craze as " a depraved, insane spirit, evincing a vitiated 
anxiety for the establishment of banking institutions." 6 

On their side the Democrats strove to prove that the United 
States Bank meddled in the affairs of Pennsylvania to such an 
extent that a large part of the canal loan which had been 
thrown on the market had not received a bid. Governor 
Wolf, in his message of February 26, said: 

It can scarcely be doubted that it is from the course of operations that 
the institution has been pursuing for some time past (whether justifiable 
or not I will not undertake to determine) that the State is indebted in a 
great measure for its disappointments heretofore, and for the failure to 
obtain its [last] loans. * * * An immediate suspension of the works 
upon the several lines of improvements until the loan is negotiated will 
be indispensable. c 

In the several battles over the Bank the Antimasons and 
National Republicans voted together, putting up a strong 
opposition, although the Democrats had the majority. Stevens 
made many brilliant but bitter and harsh speeches, in which 
he reproached the administration of the General and State 
governments and lauded the Bank and the principles of Anti- 
masonry at one and the same time.^ In the Senate, also, we 
find the same combination supporting a resolution to recharter 
the Bank, which, however, was defeated by a vote of 22 to 
10/ It was clear that radical changes were going on in part} T 
politics and that the opposition had at last found an issue upon 
which all could unite. Hereafter the National Republicans 

a Pennsylvania Reporter, January 24, 1834. 

b Hazard, Register of Pennsylvania, XIV, 371. Only a few banks succeeded iu obtaining 
charters during Wolf's administration. 
c Pennsylvania Reporter, February 28,1834, 
d Pennsylvania Reporter, March 4, March 21 \ 1834. 
< Pennsylvania Reporter, March 21, 1834. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 459 

may be called the Whigs, while the Antimasons, although 
remaining a separate party, tend more and more to be ab- 
sorbed into the ranks of the new party and vote with it upon 
all important questions." 

Although the Bank question was now predominant, the 
canal question remained one of the strongest points of conten- 
tion. If Wolfs policy was wise in regard to the restriction 
of State banks, his policy upon the canals can not be called so. 
From a conservative position he had gone to the wildest 
extremes. In his message upon this subject he reviewed the 
progress of the work. He admitted that it was not nearly 
finished, but nevertheless said: 

With prospects so flattering, fellow-citizens, in the very infancy of our 
public works, the friends of the internal-improvement policy may rest 
satisfied that the day is not far distant when Pennsylvania, encouraged by 
the success which has attended her public improvements; their continually 
increasing productiveness; the overflowing treasury, for which she will be 
indebted to the redundant revenues derived from that source; and threat- 
ened, as she is on all sides, to be deprived of that commerce which the 
God of Nature seems to have destined for her use, will in her own defense 
force the waters of Lake Erie to mingle with those of the Allegheny and 
the Delaware; the Ohio canal to become tributary to her own extensive 
improvements; the waters of the Cayuga and Seneca lakes, by means of 
the Elmira canal, to unite with those of the Susquehanna; and will cause 
the wilderness countries drained by the improvements by which all this 
will be accomplished to "smile and blossom as the rose." This may be 
regarded as fancy now, but it must become fact before long; and judging 
from the "signs of the times," it would not be surprising if it should hap- 
pen in our own day and generation, and be achieved by the force of public 
opinion itself. 6 

Suffice it to say that the spirit of the times favored such 
vast plans, and great sums were voted for these improvements. 

The canal was brought forward prominently in this session, 
not through the appropriations, but through an effort at inves- 
tigation. On January 24 a debate took place on the subject 
of the official conduct of the canal commissioners. It seems 
that a committee was appointed to investigate certain charges 
against them relating to misconduct and favoritism on the 

a The first mention of the name Whig in Pennsylvania is that in the Pennsylvania 
Reporter, April 25, 1831, although it was doubtless applied long before this. 

b Hazard, Register of Pennsylvania, XII, 373. A complete statement of the canals in 
Pennsylvania is given in ibid., XI, 316. 



460 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

North Branch division. The committee appointed informed 
the commissioners that certain witnesses would be examined 
by them in one of the committee rooms, where they might 
attend if they thought proper and hear the testimony. This 
the canal commissioners resented, and laid before the house a 
remonstrance signed by all the commissioners declaring that 
the committee had no power to investigate their conduct or 
to cite them to appear before them. It is unnecessary to say 
that the commissioners were upheld by the Democratic ma- 
jority. The cry of fraud and corruption upon the canal was 
raised by the opposition. Their orators poured forth the most 
earnest protests against such proceedings, and Ritner took 
advantage of the occasion to write a letter in which he ar- 
raigned the Administration, complained of the excessive cost, 
and charged fraud and favoritism and blocking of investi- 
gation. 6 

The rapid combining of the different elements of opposition 
in the various parts of the State led to a Whig convention 
which met on May 27. It was made up of men from all 
parties except the Van Buren Democrats. Ner Middles warth, 
the old Antimasonic leader, was vice-president of the conven- 
tion, and a few other Antimasons were present/ From the 
first the members of the convention seemed to realize that it 
was hopeless to again tie their fortunes to Henry Clay. He 
had won the dislike of the Antimasons by his position at the 
last election, and his recent attitude of compromise upon the 
tariff made him particularly obnoxious to the members of the 
an ti- Jackson party of Pennsylvania. As Stevens said pre- 
vious to the convention: 

The statesman of the West * * * has changed his position with his 
interests; abandoned the American System, laid violent hands on his own 
child; out of hatred to a successful rival joined the nullifiers, and become 
their apologist, if not their advocate.^ 

It can hardty be said that the convention did anything of 
importance, however, except to draft a few memorials of a 
conciliatory and unifying character. In fact, it was but the 

Pennsylvania Telegraph, January 25, 1834. 

b Ritner's letter of April 15. Pennsylvania Intelligencer, May 8, 1834. Pennsylvania 
Reporter, July 31, 1834. 

c Pennsylvania Reporter, May 30, 1834. The following counties were represented: 
Washington, Union, Northumberland, Erie, Adams, Bucks, York, Allegheny, Lancaster, 
Berks, Philadelphia, Dauphin, Huntingdon, Montgomery, Susquehanna, and Mercer. 

d Pennsylvania Reporter, March 13, 1834. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 461 

merest preliminary step in organization." Henceforth, until 
the Antimasons were absorbed in the great Whig movement, 
they worked side by side with that party on all the great 
issues. 6 That they were not immediately absorbed was due 
solely to the untiring zeal of Stevens, a Solomon South wick 
as well as a Weed, who revived the radical spirit of opposition 
to Masonry and constantly and tirelessly kept the issue before 
the people. That Antimasonry pure and simple had had a 
revival is seen by the enthusiasm at many of the recent con- 
ventions and by resolutions which have the true ring of the 
part} T in its early days in New York. Said the Dauphin 
County convention: 

Resolved, That we consider the question of the Bank as a matter of trifling 
importance, compared with the great principles for which we are contend- 
ing, and that we will continue to wage an unintermittent war against 
masonry and masonic usurpation in defense of our dearest rights, let the 
Bank sink or swim. 

The source of this new and fervid spirit lies in the activity 
of Stevens and his colleagues in the legislature of this year. 

On February 6, 1834, Mr. Stevens presented the following 
resolution, in support of which he spoke at some length: 

Resolved, That a committee be appointed to inquire into the expediency 
of providing by law for making Freemasonry a good cause of peremptory 
challenge to jurors, in all cases where one of the parties is a Freemason 
and the other is not; and on the part of the Commonwealth; in all prose- 
cutions for crimes and misdemeanors where the defendant is a Mason, and 
also where the judge and only one of the parties are Freemasons, to make 
the same provisions for the trial of causes, as now exists, where the judge 
and either of the parties are related to each other by blood or marriage; 
and that the said committee have power to send for persons and papers. 

The resolution was rejected by a vote of 45 to 31, d many of 
the Whigs, especially from Philadelphia, voting with the 

a Pennsylvania Reporter, May 30, 1834. 

The Democrats perceived the new movement with evident surprise and alarm. The 
newspapers were set to work to print again the old charges against the National Repub- 
licans and apply them to the Whigs. The latter were charged, as the former had been, 
with being the old aristocratic Federalists in disguise, with being opposed to universal 
enfranchisement and the rights of man, and of aiding the Bank and the power of prop- 
erty. Pennsylvania Reporter quotes National Bank Gazette, April 11, 1834; Boston 
Courier, April 14, 1834; Richmond Whig, New York Courier and Enquirer, National 
Intelligencer, and many other Whig papers to substantiate the charges. 

6 Richard Rush, supported by the Philadelphia Sun and Lancaster Herald, tried to 
bring about a divergence of the Antimasonic party in favor of Jackson, but without 
much success. Pennsylvania Intelligencer, January 9, 1834. Pennsylvania Reporter, 
March 7, 1834. 

c Vermont State Journal, September 1, 1834. 

d Pennsylvania Reporter, February 11, 1834. 



462 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

Antimasons. Mr. Stevens was not discouraged, but again 
brought up the resolution on January 21. In his speech upon 
this occasion he made the following significant remarks: 

This vote will show who and what party are the protectors, the foster- 
ers and guardians of that institution [Masonry]. That party which shall 
now oppose this resolution can never afterwards, by all their sophistry and 
denials, persuade a watchful and intelligent people that they are not the 
Masonic party. a 

The resolution was again defeated by practically the same 
vote. a The struggle was kept up with great bitterness, and on 
February 24 Mr. Patterson, of Armstrong, brought in a 
petition, which was laid on the table, asking for an investiga- 
tion of Antimasonry. 6 Mr. Stevens on the same day brought 
up a preamble and resolution against "extra-judicial" oaths/' 
and thus the fight kept on until the house, in order to get rid 
of it all, appointed two committees, one to investigate Ma- 
sonry, and the other to investigate the " political motives and 
evils of Antimasonry."^ 

Mr. Stevens's committee met and gave the clerk a precipe 
for a subpoena for witnesses to be issued in the usual way and 
signed by the speaker. It was objected to, however, and the 
committee then asked to be given power to take "testimony 
of such witnesses only, as would appear and testify voluntarily 
before them." This the house by a large vote also opposed. e 
Mr. Stevens's report speaks of the intentions of the com- 
mittee in the following characteristic manner: 

It was particularly desirable that the Governor of the Commonwealth 
should be a witness. It was thought that the papers in his possession 
might throw much light on the question, how far Masonry secures political 
and executive favor. Their inspection would have shown whether it "be 
true, that applications for offices have been founded on Masonic merit and 
claimed on Masonic rights. Whether in such applications the " significant 
symbols" and the "mystic watchwords" of Masonry have been used, 
and in how many cases such applications have been successful in procuring 
executive patronage. It might not have been unprofitable also to inquire 

a Pennsylvania Reporter, February 21, 1834. 

b Pennsylvania Reporter, February 25, 1834. 

c Pennsylvania Reporter, February 27, 1834. 

d Pennsylvania Reporter, March 1, 4, 1834. Harvey's History of Lodge No. 61, F. and 
A. M., Wilkesbarre, 1897, gives a very good and accurate Masonic account. 

c Pennsylvania Reporter, March 27, 1834. The reason was that the committee would 
probably take the testimony of renouncing Masons and thus bring in a strong report 
against Masonry. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 463 

how many of the convicted felons, who have been pardoned by the present 
governor, are "brethren of the mystic tie" and connected by blood or 
politics, with members of that institution; and how few of those who could 
boast of no such connections, have been successful in similar applications. 

He proposed also to bring before them the judges to ascer- 
tain u whether * * * the grand hailing sign had been 
ever handed, sent, or thrown to them by either of the parties 
litigant, and if so, what had been the result of the trial. " a 

On April 1 Mr. Patterson's committee reported. Included 
in this report was the following statement: 

We are not Masons and have no peculiar motive or inclination to sup- 
port the institution, except those to which we are driven by that unjust 
principle of Antimasonry which includes all in the general proscription 
who will not join in the chase and assist in running down their prey. 
Antimasonry owes its origin to the same latitudes which produced the 
celebrated blue lights and blue laws, and Golden Bibles and Mormon reli- 
gion, and seems akin to the similar infatuation instituted against the faiVer 
sex of Salem for witchcraft, who were tied by their legs and arms and 
thrown into deep water to swim if watches, [and] be burnt; if innocent, 
simply to drow r n. The ordeal and justice of Antimasonry seems equally 
equitable and wise. The annals of our country have condemned such past 
folly, and your committee cannot sanction it. Antimasonry comes from 
the land of notions and is quite unadapted to the climate, common sense, 
and sober feelings of Pennsylvania. It aspires to public honors, without 
the stamp of merit. It envies the possession of office, and influences that 
power and respectability which it feels not to be its own. & 

These reports were both printed by the State and distributed 
as campaign literature. This was the beginning of a long- 
continued legislative struggle full of singular episodes. 

In the election of this year the union of interests resulted 
in the choosing of 11 of the combined Whig and Antimasonic 
party as Representatives to Congress, 8 State senators, and 38 
members to the lower house. Stevens and McSherry (a mem- 
ber of the last Whig convention and an Antimason who was 
to be very prominent in the future) were elected from Adams 
county. d 

As was to be expected, the combined party showed the 
greatest strength in old Antimasonic regions of the southeast 

n Hazard, Register of Pennsylvania, XIII, 223. 
b Pennsylvania Reporter, April 3, 1834. 
c Pennsylvania Reporter, October 28, 1834. 

d Pennsylvania Intelligencer (Whig), October 17, 1834. The Whig papers imply that 
they were elected by the Germans of that county. 



464 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

and west and in the city of Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania 
Reporter said: 

Are not all the old Federal counties in the State strong in the opposition? 
Look at Adams, Lancaster, and Chester, and the city of Philadelphia. 
The truth is, the Federal Anti masons, the Federal National Republicans, 
and the Federalists proper, have by a natural affinity united in opposition 
to the Democratic party, and formed a party as distinctively Federal as 
any that has heretofore existed." 

From what has been narrated it is evident that the political 
year just described saw the birth of two new forces in Penn- 
sylvania politics the Whig party, made from a gathering to- 
gether of discontent and opposition of all sorts, and a new 
spirit aroused by the enthusiasm and persistent aggressive 
policy of Thaddeus Stevens, from now on the great political 
leader as well as the great high priest of Antimasonry. 

a Pennsylvania Reporter, October 31, 1834. 



CHAPTER XIV THE YEAR 1834-35 AND THE LEADERSHIP OF 

STEVENS, 



Upon the organization of the houses this year it became 
evident that, as before, the Whigs and Antimasons would 
stand solidly together. The coalition candidate for speaker, 
Middleswarth, received 33 votes, while the Democratic candi- 
date received 57. a 

Immediately after the preliminary work had been accom- 
plished, the irrepressible Stevens introduced a resolution 
against extra judicial oaths, b which, however, was defeated 
by a vote of 58 to 38, Philadelphia and the National Repub- 
lican districts voting with the Antimasons/ By the aid of 
the above combination, Mr. Stevens then began a policy of 
obstruction by constantly bringing the matter before the 
house. d The house met these measures by postponement or 
by laying the resolutions on the table, till at length Stevens 
gave notice that he would call the matter up every morning 
till the end of the session. At length his persistency was 
rewarded and the resolutions were passed after being amended 
by striking out the preamble and the words " Masonic" and 
"Odd Fellows" and inserting ''secret societies." 6 

The question of education was perhaps second to none in 
importance among the discussions of this session. The Ger- 
mans and the Quakers of Pennsylvania, the strong supporters 
of Antimasonry, had for a long time had their own schools 
and consequently did not desire public education. Public 
sentiment, however, had long desired a change, and as early 
as the session of 1830 the question of a proper and modern 
school system had been considered. Governor Wolf, too, in 
nearly every one of his messages had urged the importance 

a Pennsylvania Reporter, December 3, 9, 1834. 

ft This resolution, as it pictures so well the attitude of the Antimasons, is quoted to 
considerable length in the appendix. 

c Pennsylvania Reporter, December 12, 1834. 

rf Pennsylvania Reporter, March 9, 12, 20, 1835. 

e Pennsylvania Telegraph, April 2, 1835. It is a noteworthy fact that so strong was the 
party feeling at this time that Dr. Anderson, of Delaware, a Whig and a Mason, voted 
constantly for Stevens's resolutions in order not to break the bargain and Jose the support 
of the Antimasons upon other measures. 

H. Doc. 461, pt 1 30 465 



466 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

of the measure. In 1834 efficient aid came to this movement 
from a most unexpected quarter. Thaddeus Stevens had been 
elected by Antimasonic constituents, of whom many were 
Germans and opposed to the new educational ideas; but in 
spite of this fact he came forward as the champion of the 
cause, and it was his powerful personality and matchless elo- 
quence which kept in check in the session of the previous 
year (1833-34) the various amendments which would have 
spoiled the system by pauperizing it. a Although the bill did 
not entirely meet Stevens' s approval, yet it passed both houses 
with considerable unanimity at that time. 6 

In the session now considered a strong effort was made 
to repeal the law on the ground of unjust apportionment 
of taxes and money received to support the schools, and also 
struction expenses/ The bill to repeal the act passed the sen- 
because of the burden of taxes by reason of the canal con- 
ate, but was defeated in the house by a vote of 57 to 35 by a 
sectional vote. rf A substitute, which was offered by Mr. 
Stevens, essentially modifying the law, of 1834, was finally 
adopted/ Notwithstanding the position of Stevens and many 

a Proceedings of the house, January 21, 1834. See Pennsylvania Intelligencer, January 
27, 1834. 

Stevens' s fearless attitude upon all questions relating to education is shown in a letter 
written to some of his party who had opposed his support of the Pennsylvania College. 
He says: " You tell me, that my course, in relation to the college will injure your political 
party, and consequently injure you individually. If anything could change my purpose, 
a belief of this position would. For, however I may sacrifice myself, I do not assume the 
right to sacrifice you. But that could only happen upon the supposition that I become 
unpopular, and still continue to be your candidate. That, I will never do. I have 
already resolved that the weight of my name shall never again burthen your ticket. I 
will withdraw from any active part in your political discussions. And if it be necessary 
to the well-being of our country, dear to me as all my Friends and Constituents, I will 
withdraw from your county to some place where the advocates of Antimasonry may be 
advocates of Knowledge." Pennsylvania Telegraph, January 25, 1834. 

& As it provided for local option, however, it was defeated in the counties of Adams, 
Bucks, Berks, Chester, Columbia, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lehigh, Lebanon, Union, West- 
moreland, Northumberland, Somerset, and Bchuylkill, the German element and prob- 
ably some of the Quakers voting against it. Pennsylvania Reporter, December 2, 1834. 

c Pennsylvania Intelligencer, May 7, 1835. 

d Pennsylvania Reporter, April 14, 1835. 

e It was upon this occasion that Stevens made one of the most remarkable oratorical 
efforts of his life. Democrats, Whigs, and Antimasons were united for once in admira- 
tion of the great orator. It was upon this occasion, too, that Stevens forgot his bitter ani- 
mosity toward Wolf and described him as the leader " whose banner streams in light." 
The Democratic Pennsylvania Reporter speaks of his efforts upon this occasion in the 
following language: "The speech delivered by Mr. Stevens was particularly fine. The 
acknowledged talents of this gentleman were never exerted in a nobler cause or with 
greater effect than on this occasion, and we feel assured that a more powerful effort of 
oratory was never listened to within the walls of this or any other legislative hall." 
Pennsylvania Reporter, April 15, 1835. See McCall's Life of Thaddeus Stevens, pp. 41-45. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PAETY. 467 

of the Antimasons, the question became of political signifi- 
cance in the coming campaign and Wolf certainly lost much 
popularity among the German Democrats. 

The canal policy of Wolf had been supported by the Dem- 
ocratic majorities, and generally his suggestions were very 
nearly carried out. In his message of this } r ear a he went as 
far as to suggest the combining of the W r est Branch with the 
French Creek division, thus forming two proposed passages 
to Lake Erie. As this would bring a main line of canal 
through some of the strongest Democratic counties, it was 
very popular in these sections. The vote upon the bill in the 
house was the very close one of 47 to 45, b the eastern German 
Democrats plainly showing their discontent. The senate 
returned the bill, striking out the Erie extension, and in this 
form it passed the house a .second time. 6 ' 

Another matter of political importance was the action upon 
the amendment of the constitution. As early as 1833 Demo- 
cratic meetings advocated changes in the old constitution 
because it did not fit present conditions and because of the 
great and arbitrary power given by it to the governor and the 
judges. In April, 1835, an act was passed providing for the 
submission of the matter to the people at the next election.** 
The measure was unpopular with the Germans as a whole, and 
in the coming political movements and the campaign which 
followed we find these people, both Antimasons and Demo- 
crats, opposing the Democrats because of their attitude on 
this question/ 

That dissatisfaction would come sooner or later in the ranks 
of the German Democrats of Pennsylvania, supporting as they 
did a man who was practically a National Republican for so 
long, who had favored a vast and costly system of internal 
improvements and who had championed the school bill/ was 

Hazard, Register of Pennsylvania, XVI, 370. 

l> Pennsylvania Reporter, April 7, 1835. 

t> Crawford Messenger, May 2, 1835. It provided liberally for nearly all the other lines. 

(i Pennsylvania Reporter, April , 1835. 

e A respected citizen of Harrisburg of German extraction, who was a young man at this 
time, told the author that the natural hatred of the Germans to any change was the 
basis of this opposition. 

/The Germans did not want secularization, although not opposed to education. Henry 
A. Muhlenberg, in a letter to the workingmen of Philadelphia, January 26, 1836, says: 
"The Germans of our State are not opposed to education as such, but only to any system 
which to them seems to trench on their parental or natural rights." They had estab- 
lished and maintained schools and did not want to abandon them. 



468 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

to be expected. The vote at the last election had shown 
that he was not popular in the German districts of the 
State. This, together with the fact that the supporters of 
Wolf were thought to be opposed to Van Buren a and allied 
with the party that had all along disliked extreme Jackson- 
ism, presaged trouble in the coming State convention. When 
the convention met on March 4: it was found that a faction 
from the counties of Adams, Beaver, Chester, Delaware, 
Dauphin, Erie, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Lebanon, Luzerne, 
Lehigh, Montgomery, Mercer, Northumberland, Susque- 
hanna, and Union were determined to nominate for governor 
Henry A. Muhlenberg, of Berks, a man of distinguished 
family, a former minister of the gospel, and one of the great- 
est preachers in the State. 6 In spite of their efforts, how- 
ever, the convention nominated Wolf after several days of 
fruitless quarrel over delegates. The Muhlenberg supporters 
withdrew and soon after nominated their candidate in a con- 
vention held at Lewistown. c 

The seceding delegates were generally understood to be in 
favor of Van Buren and opposed to internal improvements, 
and the school bill/ It is apparent, also, that they came, 
to a large extent, from those German counties which had 
cast so large a vote for Ritner in the previous election/ 
Every means was tried to close the schism. President Jack- 
son even wrote a letter to Muhlenberg asking him to with- 
draw for the sake of harmony, but without a vail, f 

The Antimasons again nominated Ritner/ and though his 
policy was not clearly defined in regard to the canal system, 
we find none of the opposition to improvements manifested 
during the last campaign. He and his supporters confined 
themselves to criticising the administration for extravagance 
and for corruption connected with the work.^ 

aNiles Register, XLVIII, 198. 

6 Pennsylvania Reporter, April 3, 1835. Niles Register, XLVIII, 20. 

c Pennsylvania Reporter, May 6, 1835. Niles Register, XLVIII, 190. 

d Pennsylvania Reporter, May 1, June 5, August 28, June 26, 1835. Pennsylvania Intel- 
ligencer, May 14, 1835. Niles Register, XLVIII, 198. 

Pennsylvania Reporter, April 7, June 19, 1835. 

/Jackson's letter of July 1, 1835. Pennsylvania Reporter, 1835. In a Fourth of July 
address Jackson mentioned Wolf as the "patriotic governor," a phrase which was used 
against the other faction. Niles Register, XLIX, 189. 

v Niles Register, XLVIII, 20. 

h Pennsylvania Reporter, June 10, June 19, 1835. Centre Democrat, June 10, 1835. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 469 

The efforts made by the Muhlenberg faction to win over 
the German Antimasons singularly failed, and but a few of 
them, led by Richard Rush, entered into the support of Muhlen- 
berg. a 

The northern counties of the State had received many favors 
from Wolf, and it was this section which displayed at this 
crisis the greatest enthusiasm for his cause. His supporters 
said: 

When George Wolf was elected governor of Pennsylvania, the North 
was regarded more as a colony of outlaws than citizens of the State. We 
have now a firm prospect of having the State improvements extended 
through this section of the State. To whom are we indebted for this 
prospect more than George Wolf? He has boldly stepped forth and urged 
his measures upon the legislature. Is there a man in the North who can 
turn recreant to such a governor?* 

The people of Erie County, too, were indignant at the long 
neglect of their interests, and made an issue of the failure to 
extend the canal to the lake. At a meeting of the friends of 
the canal it was resolved "to support no man for the office of 
governor who was not its avowed and independent friend. " c 
Letters were addressed to all the candidates upon the matter, 
with the result that Wolf said it should be "completed with- 
out delay;" Ritner, as soon as the "circumstances of the 
State should justify it," and Muhlenberg admitted the work 
was "important," but did not commit himself. a 

One of the interesting phases of this campaign was the 
religious spirit connected with it. The Antimasons had long 
been called advocates of a union of church and state. The 
Wolf Democrats now imputed the same doctrines to Muhlen- 
berg. "For upwards of eighteen years," says the Chester 
Democrat, " H. A. Muhlenberg professed to be a minister of 
the Message of Peace. * * * History portrays in glaring 
characters the danger of the unity of the civil with religious 
power. Would every Pennsylvanian resist the en- 

croachments of religious upon civil power, let him on this 
ground alone refuse to give his vote to Rev. Henry A. Muh- 
lenberg. " d 



Pennsylvania Reporter, August 28, 1835. 

b Northern Banner, quoted in Pennsylvania Reporter, July 17, 1835. See also account 
of Center County Democratic meeting, Pennsylvania Reporter, September 11, 1835. 
c Pennsylvania Reporter, September 11, 1835. 
d Chester Democrat, quoted in Pennsylvania Reporter, September 25, 1835. 



470 



AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 



Wolf in turn was attacked by his political opponents for 
having appointed a man to a position through the influence 
of a Catholic priest. "We have read much about church and 
state in this contest," said the Pittsburg Manufacturer, " and 
from whom has it come? none other than those who for the 
last six years have priest-ridden the Commonwealth^ It was 
declared repeatedly that "Catholicism, Masonry, and infidelity 
were combined to crush the liberty of the Republic." In those 
days of religious disturbance and bitter religious feeling such 
accusations were not to be despised, and formed valuable cam- 
paign literature. This was the beginning of the strong anti- 




Vote for governor of Pennsylvania, in 1835. (Philadelphia City for Ritner; Philadelphia 

County for Wolf.) 

Catholic feeling in Pennsylvania with which so many prominent 
Antimasons, especially in the western part of the State, were 
later connected. 6 

The result of the election was an overwhelming victory for 
Ritner. He carried the southern part of the State and the 
western tier of counties, receiving 94,023 votes to 65,804 for 
Wolf and 40,586 for Muhlenberg/ According to the Demo- 

a Pittsburg Manufacturer, quoted in Pennsylvania Intelligencer, September 24, 1835. 

<>Mr. E. Wilson's valuable History of Pittsburg, compiled largely from newspapers, 
gives a good picture of the struggle in the city of Pittsburg. 

c Pennsylvania Reporter, October 30, 1835. 

Specifically, he carried Adams, Allegheny, Beaver, Bedford, Butler. Bucks, Crawford, 
Cambria, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, 
Huntingdon, Indiana, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, 



THE ANTIMASONIO PARTY. 471 

cratic account, 9 Antimasonic senators were elected, and in the 
lower house all but 28 were either Whigs or Antimasons. 
These two parties, if united, could control the lower house 
entirely, and on a joint vote both houses. a 

Montgomery, Philadelphia City, Somerset, Union, Washington, and York counties. 
Muhlenberg carried Berks, Columbia, Northumberland, Perry, and Schuylkill; all of 
these except Perry being adjoining counties. Berks was Muhlenberg's county, and had 
been the seat of political discontent for some time. In 1832 it had given Jackson 3,322 
majority and Wolf but 323. Pennsylvania Reporter, June 19, 1835. 

Berks, Schuylkill, and Northumberland also voted against the proposed convention 
for amending the constitution. Pennsylvania Reporter, October 30. 1835. Members 
from all these counties except Northumberland had opposed the improvement bill of 
1835. Pennsylvania Reporter, April 7, 1835. These counties always elected Democratic 
members to the legislature, but were always decidedly opposed to the policy of Wolf. 
The split in the Democratic ranks undoubtedly caused the defeat of their party, although 
it must be admitted that the Muhlenberg ticket polled heavy votes in nearly all the 
eastern Antimasonic counties. Wolf carried 17 counties, 13 of which favored the conven- 
tion. Every county in the State in which the German population predominated gave a 
majority against the convention. These counties were Lancaster, Berks, Schuylkill, 
Northampton, Lehigh, Lebanon, Dauphin, York, Montgomery. Union, Perry, Northum- 
berland, and Somerset. Lancaster, the greatest Antimasonic county, gave the most 
votes against it, while Berks, the Muhlenberg stronghold, was next. Besides these 
counties. Adams, Bedford, Bucks, Center, Chester, Delaware, Mifflin, Northumberland, 
Philadelphia City, Philadelphia County, and Juniata voted against the convention. The 
convention was, however, decided upon by a vote of 84,611 to 73,008. Pennsylvania Re- 
porter, October 30, 1835. 

Pennsylvania Reporter, October 23, 1835. 



CHAPTER XV THE ANTIMASONTC-WHIG ALLIANCE IN POAVER, 



As soon as the session opened it became evident that not 
only was the Whig-Antimasonic combination supreme but 
also that several of the Muhlenberg Democrats showed a 
tendency to unite with them as well. In the senate, Cun- 
ningham, a member from the western part of the State who 
was understood to be opposed to Van Buren, was elected 
chairman; while in the house, Middleswarth was elected 
speaker/' 

In his inaugural address Ritner defined his polic} r toward 
the State improvements as follows: 

With the vast debt already contracted before us, prudence would forbid 
the undertaking of any new, separate, and independent work, until those 
now in operation and in progress, prove by actual experience to be capa- 
ble of sustaining themselves, and furnish evidence that they will, in a 
reasonable time, extinguish their original cost, without resort to taxation. 
But where further extension of the public works is necessary, to render 
those already made or in progress, profitable, and beneficial, economy and 
sound policy, and a just regard for the interests of the people, would 
require such extension to be authorized and completed. 6 

His policy was soon put to the test, for both houses passed 
a resolution authorizing the canal commissioners to purchase 
and place additional locomotives upon the railroads of the 
Commonwealth. He returned this with his veto, and the 
remark "I regard this as the first question that has arisen, 
involving those principles of reform and economy for the 
support of which I stand pledged before my fellow-citizens. " c 
How the matter of improvements was finally settled will be 

a Pennsylvania Reporter, December 4, 1835. The Reporter estimated that a Muhlenberg 
man was elected clerk and an Antimason assistant clerk. Two of the printers are called 
Muhlenberg men and one a Whig. Cunningham received 20 votes to his opponent's 
(Reed) 10. He received all the votes of the Muhlenberg men, the Whigs, and the Anti- 
masons. In the house, Niles estimates that there were 45 Antimasons, 26 Whigs, 17 Wolf 
men, 12 Muhlenberg men. Niles Register, XLIX, 230. 

& Pennsylvania Reporter, December 18, 1835. 

c Pennsylvania Reporter, January 5, 8, 1835. Niles Register, XLIX, 292. Hazard, XVI, 
394. 

472 



THE ANTIMASCXNIC PARTY. 473 

considered in connection with the establishment of the United 
States Bank, where it properly belongs. 

That Ritner looked upon his election as a triumph of Anti- 
masonry is evident from the following- statement from his 
message: 

The supremacy of the laws, and the equal rights of the people, whether 
threatened or assailed by individuals, or by secret sworn associations, I 
shall, so far as may be compatible with the constitutional power of the 
Executive, endeavor to maintain, as well in compliance with the known 
will of the people, as from obligations of duty to the Commonwealth. In 
this endeavor I shall entertain no doubt of zealous cooperation by the 
enlightened and patriotic legislature of the State. The people have willed 
the destruction of all secret societies, and that will can not be disregarded. 

In accordance with this recommendation a committee was 
appointed to inquire into Masonry, and on December Y Mr. 
Stevens, chairman of that committee, reported a bill entitled 
' 'An act to suppress secret societies bound together by unlaw- 
ful oaths." 6 On December 19 a committee of five, with Ste- 
vens as chairman, was appointed to investigate the evils of 
Freemasonry, with power to send for persons and papers, and 
January 11 was fixed as the date for an investigation before 
the committee/ As the witnesses took no notice of the sum- 
mons, the next day Mr. Stevens made a report that the com- 
mittee had summoned George Wolf and others to appeal- 
before them, but that they had all denied the authority of the 
house and the committee to serve process upon them, and 
had refused by letters to appear. He then offered a resolu- 
tion that " attachments issue to compel the attendance of 
George Wolf, John Neilson, and other delinquent witnesses. " d 

On January 14, after much debate, it was decided by a vote 

Pennsylvania Reporter, December 18, 1835. See also Harvey, History of Lodge No. 61, 
F. and A. M., and the American Free Mason, Louisville, Ky., II. This gives a Masonic 
history of Antimasonry. 

b Pennsylvania Reporter, December 8, 1836, American Daily Advertiser, December 
25, 1835. 

cHarrisburg Chronicle, January 11, 1836. American Sentinel, January 12, 1836. 

d Harrisburg Chronicle, January 14, 1836. Governor Wolf in his letter said: "I respect- 
fully, but solemnly repeat my protest against and utterly deny the right of the committee: 
of the House of Representatives itself: or any human power to interfere with my consti- 
tutional rights as a free citizen of the State of Pennsylvania, with my privileges as a free 
agent, or with indulgence of my predilections to form such associations, not prohibited 
by law nor violating any provisions of the Constitution, as I may from time to time think 
proper, * * * or to interrogate me concerning the same, or to compel me to answer 
in anywise in relation thereto. I therefore respectfully decline appearing before the 
committee as requested by the subprena." Franklin Repository, January 19, 1836. Har- 
risburg Chronicle, January 14, 1836. 



474 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

of 59 to 29 to bring these men before the house. An analy- 
sis of the vote shows that many of the members from the 
Muhlenberg counties either did not vote or voted for the res- 
olution, while the rest of the Democrats to a man voted 
against it. a 

On January 18 the witnesses were accordingly brought 
before the committee. The excitement was intense. Crowds 
of people attracted from everywhere were present to hear thp 
secrets of the Masons revealed. Masons, Antimasons, "Mu- 
lies," 6 "Jacks,"' c c Bats, "* "Collar Democrats," 6 "Canalers," 
"Anticanalers," Quakers, Dunkards, Mennonites, Lutherans 
fought with one another to get within hearing of the awful 
things to be revealed. All the terms that human ingenuity 
could devise were brought forth by the Democrats to describe 
the proceedings. The days of Salem witchcraft were held 
up as the only parallel in American history. It was called an 
"Old Woman's Curiosity Convention," with Stevens as 
"Chief Old Woman;" it was compared to the Inquisition, 
with Stevens the "Arch Priest of Antimasonry," as "Chief 
Inquisitor," and many other terms equally ingenious were 
invented and used.^' 

The curiosity seekers and the investigators were disap- 
pointed. Each Mason, as he was summoned, refused to answer 
the questions put, and instead read a protest. Many of these 
protests were remarkably strong and dignified documents. 
The limits of this work do not permit their appearance here. 
As the reading was continued at great length, Stevens showed 
signs of impatience and is said to have lost his temper several 
times. 9 ' 

Harrisburg Chronicle, January 14, 1836. Franklin Repository, January 19, 1836. 

b Followers of Muhlenberg. 

e Men who were not Masons yet sided with them. 

d Those who neither were Masons nor sided with them, and yet did not see the 
"light." 

e A common name for the Democrats. It comes from a saying of Crockett's that each 
Democrat wore a collar upon which was inscribed "Andrew Jackson, his dog." 

/Stevens, indeed, appeared well in the part of an inquisitor. He is described at this 
time as a "gentleman with gray eyes, smooth hair, robust person, and a cold severe 
look." Harrisburg Chronicle, January 18, 1836. His Puritan ancestry, his fanatical 
spirit, his radical nature, all fitted him for the part he was playing. 

{/Franklin Repository, January 19, 1836. Harrisburg Chronicle, January 21, 1836. 
Niles Register XLIX, 379, 381, 382. Mr.Egle says that when Rev. Mr. Sproul was read- 
ing his address he came to the expression "Gentlemen, if you are willing to convert 
yourselves into a modern Juggernaut, then roll on." "Stop," thundered the chairman 
of the " Inquisition," white with wrath, and further reading was dispensed with. Penn- 
sylvania Magazine of History and Biography, XXIII, 137. Mr. Egle was a Mason. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 475 

On January 20 a resolution was adopted directing the 
sergeant-at-arms to take into custody 25 witnesses named in 
the resolution and bring them before the bar of the house. a 
On January 21 Mr. Stevens offered another resolution that 
the prisoners at the bar be committed to the charge of the 
sergeant-at-arms, and there continue until delivered by due 
course of law. To this resolution amendments were offered 
in great number. One of these, by a member from Allegheny 
Count} 7 , proposed that " the speaker of the house be instructed 
to apologize to the prisoners at the bar." The house was 
beginning to get tired of Stevens and his fruitless " inquisi- 
tion," and political expediency could not hold them on his 
side much longer. Says an eyewitness: "For a time it was 
uncertain whether the prisoners would be committed or the 
house apologize to them." 6 After a struggle the house decided 
to discharge the prisoners by a vote of 48 to 45. c Stevens 
did not give up the idea of investigation, but continually 
brought the matter up, without, however, accomplishing any- 
thing, the Whigs being utterly disgusted at his disgraceful 
defeat.* 1 He finally gave up his task, but nevertheless vowed 
vengeance. In a speech in the house on March 5 he said: 

The Antimasons in the State have been in the minority, and will be in 
the minority until they have exterminated the unholy orders. The troops 
from Switzerland and Cassel, after having sacked the archives of the tem- 
ple will now turn and destroy the fair city itself. Sir, I will go home 
again in a minority, and call again and again upon the people and will 
either succeed in crushing that polluting order, which will sustain itself 
by trampling over the best interests of the country, or will go down to 
the grave never faltering in a righteous cause. 

He said that he would appeal to the people, and in their 
decision all would soon perceive that there was u no other 
question than Masoniy and Antimasonry."* 

As the election of Governor Ritner was a triumph for the 
friends of the Bank, efforts were made early in the session to 
incorporate it. On January 28 a bill passed the house to that 
effect by a vote of 57 to 33, the members from the Muhlen- 

a The vote was 47-43. 

b Editor of United States Gazette. Harrisburg Chronicle, January 28, 1836. 
cNiles Register, XLIX, 382. 

d Harrisburg Chronicle, February 4, 22, March 3. See also journal of house of repre- 
sentatives, 1835-36, II, pp. 810-921, and Document No. 268. 
e Harrisburg Chronicle, March 10, 1836. 



476 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

berg counties voting with the Democrats. a By the terms of 
its charter it had to pay $4,500,000 as a bonus and contribute 
nearly $700,000 to various improvements. 6 The act was des- 
ignated an "Act to repeal the State tax on real and personal 
property, and to continue and extend the improvements of 
the State by railroads and canals." The improvements to 
which the money was applied embraced nearly all the schemes 
then in existence. Many railroad companies notably the 
proposed Baltimore and Ohio branch in Pennsylvania, and a 
proposed railroad from Columbia to Pittsburg, and the 
famous Gettysburg, Wrightsville and York Railroad were 
helped. The turnpikes, especially in the southern and west- 
ern portions of the State, received their due share, while the 
branch canals received large amounts. Even the survey of 
the West Branch to the Allegheny, the French Creek exten- 
sion to Lake Erie, and the plans to connect the Pittsburg to 
the Ohio system were not forgotten. In this way the greater 
part of the money received was spent and comparatively little 
was assigned to the discharge of the public debt. Many 
improvement companies and speculative enterprises sprang 
up in every direction. Work was commenced which it would 
take untold wealth to complete. The logical result can be 
foreseen; the crash came in the next year/ 

Conditions so advantageous to all sectional interests and 
enterprises won many adherents to the Antimasonic-Whig 
party. This was noticeably true in the case of many Democrats 
who had shown some tendency not to follow their party as it 
then existed in the Stated 

Such a concession could not have been made without criti- 
cism, and almost immediately a senator accused another of 
trying to bribe him to vote for it. A committee was appointed 

aHarrisburg Chronicle, February 8, 1836. It was incorporated February 8, 1836. Ibid., 
January 25, 1837. 

b Harrisburg Chronicle, July 6, 1836. 

cFor the text of the act, see Philadelphia Courier, January 30, 1836. See also Laws of 
Pennsylvania, 1835-1836. 

<*Says the Harrisburg Chronicle: "The crisis in our State affairs was startling. Our 
commerce was sinking beneath the pecuniary agitation: our State treasury was bank- 
rupt; our people were already overburthened with taxes. * * * Besides all this, our 
improvements would have gone to decay for want of means, and many valuable lines of 
improvements would have been checked altogether. Ruin, utter ruin, would have 
ensued." Harrisburg Chronicle, May 30, 1836. The Chronicle at this time bore at the 
head of its columns the names of Van Buren and Johnson, although just before the 
election it became Whig. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PAKTY. 477 

to investigate the matter, and although there was a great 
weight of circumstantial evidence against the accused he was 
acquitted, although publicly reprimanded. The committee 
reported that they were " satisfied that neither the Bank nor 
any person connected with it improperly interfered to pro- 
mote the passage of the bill." a 

The chartering of the Bank set a precedent for the estab- 
lishment of other State banks, among which was the Girard 
Bank, of Philadelphia. Although Ritner, in his message, had 
not taken as positive a position toward such institutions as 
had Wolf, 6 yet he vetoed this bill, and in doing so made a 
restatement of the arguments in favor of the Bank of the 
United States. He seems to have favored that, and that 
alone. c It is also probable that he tried to avoid the odium 
cast upon the previous administration by reason of the char- 
ters granted by the Democrats, in spite of the executive veto. 
As in the case of Wolf, the bill was passed over his veto. 
This opened the way for the establishment of many banks 
during his administration/ 

The friends of the Bank received a severe shock later in the 
year when George Dallas said that the constitutional conven- 
tion then assembling could "possess within the territory of 
Pennsylvania every attribute of absolute sovereignty, except 
what may have been yielded to the United States and is 
embodied in the Federal Constitution." He recommended 
that the Bank be demolished by this method. Although this 
view of the matter caused an uneasiness bordering on panic 
in commercial centers, yet nothing finally came of it.* 

Another measure well adapted to please the thrifty German 
farmers of the State was the repeal of the direct tax. This 

Harrisburg Chronicle, February 15, March 14, 1836. Niles Register, XLIX, 434; L, 110. 

>He promised to limit the amount of paper money, etc., but said, however, that " pub- 
lic accommodation and the demands of business will be consulted.' 1 Hazard, Register 
of Pennsylvania, XVI, 394. 

c Franklin Repository, March 29, 1836. 

rflbid. Stevens, in a characteristic speech, condemned Ritner for his veto. " For his 
part," he said, " he could see nothing to justify the act; and he could not stand by and 
see kingly prerogative exercised without always being opposed to the exercise of such 
power. It was no new doctrine with him. He had always been opposed to the exercise 
of the veto power, whether it was done by hispolitical friends or foes. He never retraced 
his steps to please in any quarter. He would look upon the success of this veto as a 
triumph over the deliberations of legislative action and independence." Harrisburg 
Chronicle, March 21. 1836. 

Harrisburg Chronicle, November 2, 9, 1836. 



478 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

tax went into effect October 1, 1832, and was levied especially 
upon such articles as mortgages, bonds, notes, bank stock, 
turnpike stock, and other personal property, and provided 
for an increase of county rates." The law had been the cause 
of great discontent and of much severe censure of Wolf, 6 and 
various attempts had been made to repeal it. c 

The act was finally repealed on March 10, 1836. The fol- 
lowing resolution shows how the party in power made a strong 
bid for the patronage of the people: 

Whereas, although the law levying taxes on real and personal property 
for the use of the State will expire on the twenty-fourth day of March 
next, yet it appears by the report of the State Treasurer, made to the legis- 
lature at the present session, that these taxes are estimated in the receipts 
of the current year at two hundred and eight thousand, nine hundred and 
sixty-three dollars, and that the same would have been collected from the 
people, notwithstanding the expiration of the same law, but by the passage 
of the late act entitled "An act to repeal the State tax on real and personal 
property, and to continue the improvements of the State by canals and 
railroads, and to charter a State bank to be called the Bank of the United 
States," d the treasury will be supplied in lieu thereof, and it is thereby 
rendered unnecessary to demand the payment of the same from the citizens 
of the Commonwealth. 

Another strong bid for public favor was a resolution intro- 
duced by Stevens instructing the delegation in Congress to 
use their influence for the passage of a law making an appro- 
priation for the improvement of the navigation of the Ohio. 
Only ten Democrats had the hardihood to vote against the 
measure. e 



a Pennsylvania Telegraph, September 28, 1831. 

bWolf, in his last message, however, had advocated that it be allowed to expire. 
Hazard, Register of Pennsylvania, XVI, 370. 

<?For controversy over this before its existence and after, see Harrisburg Chronicle, 
April 20, 1830. Pennsylvania Telegraph, September 28, 1831; March 10, September 19, 
1832. Pennsylvania Reporter, September 14, 1832. 

rfHarrisburg Chronicle, September 28, 1836. See also ibid., February 29, 1836, for debates 
in Senate of February 15, 1836. 

e Pennsylvania Reporter, January 12, 1836. They were instructed also during this session 
to vote against the expunging resolutions, and in the extra session they were instructed 
to vote against the distribution of the surplus revenue among the States. Niles Register, 
L, pp. 16, 291. 

A resolution which was of comparative insignificance at this time, and yet must be 
noticed because it marks the beginning of the political antislavery movement in the 
State, came up in this session. The governor, in his message, had alluded to resolu- 
tions from the States of Virginia, Missouri, and Kentucky relative to abolition and 
incendiary publications. This was referred to a committee, of which Stevens was 
appointed chairman, and on May 30 it reported the following resolutions: "Resolved, That 
the slave-holding States alone have the right to regulate and control domestic slavery 
within their limits." "Resolved, That Congress does possess the constitutional power, and 



THK ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 479 

As the time of the national election was approaching, much 
interest was manifested in the position of the Antimasons. 
Would they unite with the Whigs or would they run an inde- 
pendent ticket of their own? Already earl} 7 in 1835 some of 
the counties had instructed their delegates to the State con- 
vention to bring the name of Harrison before the convention 
as a candidate for President. Letters were addressed by 
other conventions to prominent men of the country asking 
them for their views upon Antimasonry. Harmar Denny 
and others of Allegheny county addressed a letter to Web- 
ster. He replied in a letter in which he positively announced 
his belief in the doctrines of the party and said: 

Under the influence of this conviction it is my opinion that the future 
administration of all such oaths, and the imposition of all such obligations, 
should be prohibited by law. * * * I have ever found the Anti- 
masons of Pennsylvania true to the Constitution, to the Union, and to the 
great principles of the country. They have adopted the "supremacy of 
the laws " as their leading sentiment, and I know none more just or more 
necessary. & 

Stevens had meanwhile been negotiating with Harrison. 
According to the Democratic accounts, he asked Harrison the 
following questions: (1) "Do you believe that Freemasonry 
and all other secret oath -bound societies are evils and incon- 
sistent with the genius and safety of republican government? " 
(2) " Will you join your Antimasonic fellow-citizens in the 
use of all constitutional, fair, and honorable means for their 
final and effectual suppression?" Harrison replied that he 
believed in Antimasonic principles, but that, although he 
was ''far from asserting that evils arising from Masonry do 
not form a proper subject for the deliberations and action of 
some constituted authorities in our country," yet he was 
"certain that there exists no such power either in the whole 
Government of the United States, or in any of its departments, 

it is expedient to abolish slavery and the slave trade within the District of Columbia.' 1 
Harrisburg Chronicle, June 2, 1836. These resolutions may appear exceedingly mild to 
come from a committee of which Stevens was chairman, but it must be remembered that 
the opposition in Pennsylvania was considering the national unity of parties opposed to 
the Democrats, and was therefore more careful than ordinary. However many of the 
leaders of the Antimasonic movement in the State were soon to become out-and-out 
abolitionists, as would be expected from such natural extremists. 

a Juniata and Union meetings, Pennsylvania Reporter February 24, 1836 Pennsylva- 
nia Intelligencer, February 23, 1835. 

& Boston, November 26, 1835. Pennsylvania Reporter, January 5. Pennsylvania Tele- 
graph, December 9, 1835. 



480 AMEKICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

and that the attempt to exercise it would constitute an usur- 
pation of power, pregnant if tolerated by the people, with 
mischief infinitely more fatal than those which it was intended 
to remedy. " a These last few words were wormwood and gall 
to the fiery Stevens. Able politician though he was, he yet 
could not be reconciled, and determined to throw his weight 
in favor of Webster. b 

When the State convention took place (December 14, 1835), 
the Harrison men, who were in the majority, effectually op- 
posed a recommendation to send delegates to an Antimasonic 
national convention, and nominated Harrison for President 
and Granger, the former New York gubernatorial candidate, 
for Vice-President. These nominations were not made with- 
out a struggle. When it became evident that such a course 
was to be pursued, the radical Antimasons, like Denny and 
Stevens, entered their protest against such a step, and finding 
a majority determined upon the measure, withdrew from 
further participation in the proceedings/ 

Soon after, the seceders met and approved of holding a 
national convention on May 1, and appointed delegates to it. 
These delegates included Stevens, Denny, and Ellmaker/' 
They also issued an address which is interesting because of 
the light it throws upon Antimasonry in Pennsylvania. After 
saying that the delegates to the previous meeting had dis- 
obeyed the call, the object of which was to nominate delegates 
to the national convention, the address said: 

A Masonic Whig or Harrison convention was called to meet in Harris- 
burg at the same time with the Antimasonic convention. It met and 
organized by electing a Masonic president, and one or more Masons, vice- 
presidents. A large number of their body were adhering Masons, and 
most of the others the strenuous defenders of the lodge. A regular inter- 
communication was kept up between the members of the Masonic and 
such of those of the Antimasonic convention as were privy to the plans of 
both. James Todd, esq.. who, it was well known, was to be appointed 
attorney-general under the new administration, caused his son, as is 
believed, who was a delegate, to create a vacancy, and came into the con- 
vention as his substitute, notwithstanding the solemn remonstrances of 
those who believed that the purity of deliberative bodies could be preserved 
only by excluding from them all official influence. It is ascertained that 

a Pennsylvania Reporter, January 8, 1836. 
bSee in this connection Adams's Diary IX, 273. 

c Pennsylvania Reporter, December 18, 1835. Niles's Register, XLIX. 177, 287. Ameri- 
can Daily Advertiser, December 17, 18, 19, 1835. 
d Pennsylvania Reporter, December 22, 1835. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PAETY. 481 

sixty-four members of the convention were applicants for office, either to 
the governer or attorney-general for themselves or relations. Mr. Todd 
was believed to possess the special confidence of the governor, and was 
, known to hold the patronage of more than fifty appointments. Without 
any authority, and as we believe in express violation of the feelings and 
intentions of the governor, he had induced the belief, that the sure road 
to Executive favor lay through the immediate nomination of General Har- 
rison without regard to his political Antimasonry. * * * The coalition 
with the Whig convention was completed, and resulted in their joint nom- 
ination of the same candidates for President and Vice-President. * * * 
A motion was made to read the instructions of the several counties to their 
delegates, which was opposed by the amalgamation party, and rejected. 
We shall not pretend to state what occurred in the Masonic convention, as 
it sat with closed doors a considerable part of the time. After General 
Harrison was nominated, Mr. Gest offered the following resolution, which 
was rejected by a large majority: "Resolved, That if Gen. William H. 
Harrison will give such unequivocal expressions declarative (if elected to 
the Presidency of the United States) that he will not knowingly appoint 
adherents of oath-bound secret societies to office that such expressions 
will be evidence that he is sufficiently Antimasonic to be the Democratic 
Antimasonic candidate for the Presidency of the United States and conse- 
quently, as such, ought to be unanimously sustained by the Antimasonic 
party of Pennsylvania." It is firmly believed that every true Antimason 
in the State will refuse to sanction this coalition, but hold himself bound 
by the decisions of the national convention about to be held. In addition to 
the sixty-four applicants for office, the convention contained, as we believe, 
twenty-four Whigs and one Mason. Fellow-citizens, after much toil and 
some suffering in your company, in defense of ' ' equal rights, ' ' we had hoped 
to be permitted to repose from our labors. But the enemy has assumed a 
a new, and most dangerous shape. Permit us therefore to exhort you to 
buckle on anew your armor, as we have already done, to meet and again 
overthrow the evil monster whose slightest touch is pollution. Signed, 
Thaddeus Stevens, W. W. Irwin, Samuel Parke, committee of delegates. 

They were sustained in their position by the radicals 
throughout the State and particularly in the west. Repeated 
calls went up for the dismissal of Todd, 6 and it seemed for a 
while that another nomination would be made, but the action 
of the other States was not favorable to a convention, and 
Harrison had to be sustained, although it is probable that he 
lost many votes through the spirit engendered. 

The campaign of this year showed an increase of the anti- 
Catholic spirit that appeared in the previous election. Martin 
Van Buren was declared to be a correspondent and eulogist of 

a Pennsylvania Reporter, January 5, 1836. 

& Allegheny County meeting, December 26, Pennsylvania Reporter, January 5, 1836. 

H, Doc. 461, pt 1 31 



482 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

the Pope and a friend of many Catholics. These insinuations 
were used effectually among the severe Presbyterians of the 
western part of the State. a 

The State elections resulted, according to Whig accounts, in 
the election of three Whigs to Congress and four Antimasons. 
Eighteen of the senate were classed as "Whigs," "Antima- 
sons," and "State's Rights Democrats," 6 while eleven of the 
lower house are called "Whigs," and twenty "Antimasons." 
The Antimasons came from the west and from Philadelphia 
City. 6 ' It was apparent that in spite of all their tactics, their 
popular measures, and their gerrymandering,^ the party was 
badly beaten, and, above all, Stevens was not returned/ 

Some of the attempts made by the coalition to explain its 
defeat are, to say the least, very weak. The Chronicle 
ascribed its defeat to the fact that the party, which was com- 
posed of so many German farmers, could not gather its voters 
at the polls because " the day of the election comes at a bad 
season just at a time when their buckwheat and 

seeding must be attended to."^ 

The real fundamental cause of the defeat, however, was 
due, no doubt, to Stevens's arbitrary measures in the legisla- 

A sample of this spirit can be seen from the following: " Van Buren and the Pope! 
* * * now for the first time a candidate for the first office in the Union, comes before 
the people, as the correspondent of the Pope of Rome, as the fawning sycophantic flat- 
terer of a foreign tyrant for the purpose of arraigning one religious denomination against 
another of making a sectarian party in politics, and of securing the influence of what 
he impiously calls the ' Holy Father' upon the Catholics of the United States, to unite in 
a body, in politics. * * * In a letter to the Pope, Martin acknowledges the Pope to 
be the ' head of the great Christian Church ' and offered ' congratulations- to the Holy 
Father upon his recent accession to the tiara! ' " Pennsylvania Intelligencer, September 
15, 1836. For similar remarks see same paper, October 17, 1836. Allegheny County 
meeting, November 11, 1835. Boston Independent Chronicle, November 21, 1835. Amer- 
ican Daily Advertiser, September 14, 1835. See also Wibon's History of Pittsburg. The 
Antimasonic spirit with its own peculiar patriotism furnished a good basis for the anti- 
Catholic Know-Nothing movement of the future. This was the period, it must be 
remembered, of the publication of " Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk," the troubles over 
the convent in Pittsburg, and a little earlier (1832) the burning of the Charlestown con- 
vent in Massachusetts. 

b Democrats who were opposed to the distribution of the surplus revenue among the 
States. It was held that it would give the Federal Government control over the States 
They were generally anti-Van Buren Democrats. 

e Harrisburg Chronicle (Whig), October 26, December 7, 1836. It is hard to tell just 
what the politics of the papers were at this period, they swung around so rapidly. There 
were ten newspapers in Harrisburg, although it was but a town of about 5,900 people. 

d There were several gerrymanders during the period discussed by this paper, but the 
limits of the work forbid any study of them here. See Harrisburg Chronicle, June 8, 
1836. 

e For that matter, Dallas and William Wilkins were both defeated for Congress. 

/ Harrisburg Chronicle, October 26, 1836 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 483 

ture with regard to Masonry, and to the fact that the investiga- 
tion ended in such a fiasco. Coupled with this was the dissatis- 
faction of many of those who did not participate in the benefits 
derived from the chartering of the Bank. Many felt that 
their particular enterprises had been slighted or discrimi- 
nated against by the administration. Considering the great 
works projected, it is easy to*realize how nearly all were dis- 
satisfied. No doubt also a great many votes were lost because 
of the charges of corruption which had marked the struggle 
for the incorporation of the Bank. Conservative and careful 
business men doubtless saw the inevitable result of the policy 
pursued, and used their influence against it. Many of the 
conservative Germans could not but be alarmed at the condi- 
tion of affairs, and consequently withheld their votes or threw 
them against the State administration. 

In the Presidential election, however, in spite of the divi- 
sions, Harrison polled 86,784 votes to 91,383 cast for Van 
Buren. He carried the counties of Adams, Alleghen}^, Bed- 
ford, Beaver, Bradford, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Chester, 
Delaware, Dauphin, Erie, Franklin, Huntingdon, Indiana, 
Lancaster, Lebanon, Mercer, Somerset, Union, and Washing- 
ton, and Philadelphia cit} T . The Germans again showed that 
although they may have been rebellious upon State issues, yet 
in Presidential elections they were good Democrats at heart. a 
Of the counties recognized as German counties, but Lancas- 
ter, Somerset, Dauphin, Lebanon, and Union threw their 
votes for Harrison. The old Muhlenberg districts gave very 
strong majorities against him. 6 The northern part of the 
State was on the whole Democratic. 

The election plainly showed that the elements of opposition 
had become solidified, and that Antimasonry was practically 
absorbed into the new Whig movement as far as national 
questions were concerned. In State matters it was yet to 
make one more final struggle before its complete overthrow 
and absorption into the triumphant Whig party of the future. 

The Wolf party had ratified the Baltimore nomination of Van Buren and Johnson, and 
this took the wind from the sails of the Muhlenberg movement. At their convention 
January 8, 1836, they, too, ratified the electoral ticket. 

*>The vote in Berks was 4,967 to 1,584; Columbia, 1,560 to 544; Northumberland, 1,421 to 
712; Schuylkill, 1,380 to 687; Perry, 1,107 to 473. Official returns, Harrisburg Chronicle, 
November 23, 1836. 



CHAPTER XVI, THE YEAR 1836-37 THE BANK, 
IMPROVEMENTS, AND ABOLITION, 



As usual after a general election the political excitement 
subsided somewhat in the year 1837. This may be also attrib- 
uted to the great strength of the Democratic party in the lower 
house, and perhaps still more to the fact that Stevens was not 
returned to the legislature. 

The State treasurer having still a great amount of money 
on hand, it is not surprising that a desire should be felt for its 
disbursal among the different improvements. Ritner, in his 
annual message, mentioned those improvements which seemed 
to him to demand the greatest attention. One of these was 
the long-contested Erie extension. This work had from time 
to time received driblets, which served but slight purpose. 
Even the previous legislature had not provided completely for 
its needs. Ritner said of it: 

The extension of the main line of canal to the harbor of Lake Erie has 
the strongest claims to the attention of the legislature. This work will 
complete the original plan of a connection between Philadelphia and Lake 
Erie, and will throw business upon the whole length of the improvements 
between these points. Though the amount of business upon the line will 
not be so great as upon other sections of the canal, yet the profit to the 
State will be equal to any. This will be caused by the description of arti- 
cles to be transported upon it. They will be mainly merchandise from the 
seaboard for the West and Northwest, to the early shipment of which upon 
the lake, the harbor of Erie offers peculiar advantages; and the heaviest 
articles of produce seeking an Atlantic market, for whose transportation 
this route to Philadelphia, composed as it chiefly will be of canal, pre- 
sents the greatest facility/* 

As will be remembered, this plan accorded with Ritner's 
original ideas and with the ideas of those Philadelphians who 
wished direct connection with the Great Lakes. 

In the claims for the money in the treasury every little 



a Franklin Repository, December 20, 1836. 
484 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 485 

crossroads speculation, every proposed railroad, beginning 
nowhere and ending nowhere, every private company of 
almost anv sort cried for its share. The bill as it was drawn 
up provided for so many different works that if they were 
all carried to completion the} 7 would increase the State debt, 
it was estimated, from 124,330,000 to $45,120,000." The pro- 
posed appropriation itself was over $3,000,000^ "It is, in 
fact," says the Intelligencer, " a bill to distribute the surplus 
revenue among the people for internal improvement, and we 
do not know how it could be better expended." 6 The Erie 
route was to receive $400,000, the North Branch $100,000, 
and the Gettysburg Railroad $150,000, and nearly all the rest 
went to turnpikes and proposed railroads/ 

The bill finally passed both houses, the southeastern mem- 
bers, as a general rule, opposing it. c Ritner, however, vetoed 
it on the grounds that 

(1) Its main feature is the distribution of the great portion of the pres- 
ent resources of the Commonwealth, among works not owned by the State, 
and its consequent withdrawal from the future prosecution of the public 
works and from the present decrease of the State debt. (2) It bestows on 
capitalists and speculators the money which is the property of the whole 
people, thereby enriching individuals and sections, to the injury of the 
rest of the community. (3) It not only thus fritters away the means 
which should now otherwise be applied, but by enabling the companies 
who are the recipients of its liberality to commence and prosecute works 
which they will not be able to complete, it embarks the State so far in 
those works that she will at no distant day be compelled to increase her 
present debt for the purpose of finishing them, or lose what is now pro- 
posed to be given. (4) It will increase the State debt in four years to 
$45,000,000, etc.^ 

The veto was sustained, although the vote stood 47 for the 
bill to 45 against it, but, as a two-thirds vote was necessary, 
the State escaped this misfortune. ' An anatysis of the vote 
shows no particular party division, the south and southeastern 
German sections generally voting against the bill, while the 
city of Philadelphia, the home of so many speculative enter- 
prises, voted for it/ 

An important and significant part of Ritner's message dealt 

a Franklin Repository, April 11, 1837. See also Pennsylvania Intelligencer, March 23, 
1837. Wilson's History of Pittsburg, 785. 
b Quoted in Franklin Repository, April 4, 1837. 
c Franklin Repository, April 11, 1837. 

d Franklin Repository, April 11, 1837. Niles Register, LII, 104. 
* Harrisburg Chronicle, April 5, 1837. 



486 AMEEICAN HISTOEICAL ASSOCIATION. 

with the proposed Gettysburg Railroad. Many plans had 
been made to construct railroads through the southern coun- 
ties which would connect with the Baltimore and Ohio system 
to the west and in some degree restore to these counties the 
prestige lost since the coming in of the canal route. These 
efforts had met with strong opposition from Philadelphia and 
those interested in the canal to Pittsburgh Stevens now 
stepped forward as the champion of the new scheme, 6 and 
Ritner, in order to placate the southeastern section of the 
State, mentioned the matter favorably in his maessge/ As 
we have seen, the canal bill was defeated and the scheme for 
the present remained in abeyance. 

As to Antimasonry itself, the governor in his message, after 
denying Washington's active support of the Masonic order, 
said: 

What was comparatively restricted and harmless in his day has assumed 
the dangerous character of regularly organized oath -bound, secret-working, 
widespread, and powerful societies. Of these * * * the society of 
Freemasonry is the fruitful mother. Their efforts are: The propagation 
and support of principles and doctrines by concentration of influence, 
to the justification or even avowal of which individual character 
and responsibility would shrink; the disregard of all law and right, both 
constitutional and legislative which, if unchecked, is the sure precursor of 
anarchy and the first step to despotism; the demoralization of society by 
the administration of unlawful and wicked oaths, which, if kept, produce 
the result for which they were intended; and if broken, accustom our citi- 
zens to make light of that which is the great agent of justice, and one of 
the bonds of society: the promotion of monopoly and prostration of the 



a Pennsylvania Reporter, March 19, 1830, January 24, 1832, April 7, 1835. 

The Philadelphians were against many of the first railroad schemes because they were 
designed to run south and consequently might take trade away from Philadelphia. The 
Gettysburg Railroad was designed to run from that city to the west, and consequently 
found favor with a large body of the business interests which were not satisfied with the 
canal, which, at the most, could run only part of the year and was constantly breaking 
down, besides causing a costly reshipment at the Allegheny portage. 

b Pennsylvania Reporter, April 7, 1835. He had tried to get an appropriation of $75,000 
in the previous legislature, but had failed. He was afterwards elected president of the 
company which was known as the " Wrightsville, York and Gettysburg Railroad." 

<"He said: "It will be perceived that the board recommends an- appropriation of 
two hundred and eighty thousand dollars to the Gettysburg Railroad. This improvement 
is intended to connect, westwardly with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the 
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and eastwardly by means of the company road from Gettys- 
burg to the Susquehanna at Wrightsville opposite Columbia, with the Philadelphia and 
Columbia Railroad, communicating through the heart of six of the southern counties of 
the State and terminating at our commercial metropolis. The propriety of such a work, 
at a time when it can be prosecuted without increasing the public burthens, can not 
remain a moment problematical, particularly when it is remembered that the counties 
to be benefited have heretofore derived no advantage from the State improvements." 
(Franklin Repository, December 20, 1836.) 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 487 

uninitiated man of business. These inevitable and indisputable results are 
sufficient to arouse, and, I have no doubt will receive the attention of 
the legislature. Permit me to recommend the subject to your early and 
deliberate consideration. At the last session it was partly acted upon. The 
question of the constitutional right of the legislature to investigate and leg- 
islate on the subject of secret, oath-bound societies was settled, after a full 
and deliberate discussion. You meet under different and, permit me 
to say under peculiarly favorable auspices for the final disposal of this 
unpleasant matter. Whatever you do wdll not be attributed to party zeal or 
excitement. You have in your power by a full investigation of the nature 
of secret societies, and by the passage of proper laws for their suppression 
or control forever to remove the stumbling block. The people of the State 
expect the emergency to be met by the legislature, not as partisans, but as 
freemen, determined to perform their duty to the country, regardless of 
mere political consequences, and of every obligation except those which 
bind us all to the support of the Constitution and the laws. 

As might be expected, the Democratic majority did not 
see fit to carry out these suggestions, but on the other hand 
called upon the governor to explain the basis of his opinions 
upon Washington. This he did in a most able document 
which the house did him the justice to have printed. 6 

The increasing agitation throughout the country on the 
question of slavery found many champions among the Anti- 
masons of Pennsylvania, especially among the Quakers. This 
agitation had greatly increased in the last two years/ Gov- 
ernor Ritner in his message charged the Democrats with 
"basely bowing the knee to the dark spirit of slavery." 
This statement aroused the ire of not only the Democrats, 
but also of many of the Whig allies of Antimasonry, seeking, 
as they were, to form a strong united party North and South/* 
Says the Democratic Pennsylvania Reporter: 

That this is the hobby [abolition] which the friends of the existing 
State administration now intend to mount for the purpose of retaining 
their ill-gotten pow r er can not be disputed. * * * The decided ground 
assumed by Governor Ritner in his message, * * * the incendiary 
articles which have from time to time appeared in the organ of his 
administration here, * * * the vehemence with which Mr. Stevens 

Franklin Repository, December 20, 1836. 

ft See Vindication of General Washington, printed in Boston, 1841, by Ezra Lincoln. 
It contains the proceedings as well as the document communicated to the house on 
March 8. See also American Freemason, Louisville, II, 106, for Masonic account. 

c Says the Pennsylvania Reporter: "The publication of Dr. E. W. Channing's eloquent 
and powerful though visionary letter in favor of Abolition has infused a new spirit into 
the hearts and movement of the Abolitionists of this quarter." Pennsylvania Reporter, 
January 31, 1837. 

d The Pennsylvania Intelligencer, one of the strongest Whig papers, was decidedly 
proslavery 



488 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

and Mr. Burrowes,^ his excellency's confidential advisers, are urging the 
promulgation of their dogmas, and the fidelity with which the presses 
owned and controlled by officeholders in various counties of the State 
reecho the doctrines, and obey the orders of the masters, all combine to 
show, that this is hereafter to be regarded as the leading policy of that 
body of individuals who formerly range^ themselves under the equally 
prescriptive but less bloody banner of Antimasonry. & 

The Antimasons agitated the matter in the legislature, but, 
as was to be expected, with no result. A bill introduced by 
them to give jury trial to fugitive slaves was defeated/ They 
seem, however, to have stood quite solidly together on these 
measures. 

It was but natural that the Democrats, now in the majority, 
would do what they could to destroy the Bank, and accord- 
ingly a resolution passed the house for the appointment of a 
committee to make certain inquiries touching the management 
of that institution and the mode by which its charter was 
obtained. d Stevens was called before the committee and testi- 
fied that one of the reasons for the chartering of the Bank was 
that Ritner was elected upon an implied promise to his political 
friends that neither the State debt should be increased nor 
taxes imposed/ and that consequently the chartering of the 
Bank furnished a means of fulfilling his promise. He vigor- 
ously protested against the investigation, and it was no doubt 
largely by the influence of his great powers that the report of 
the majority and the minority of the investigation committee 
acquitted the officers of the Bank and the members of the legis- 
lature of having used corrupt means to procure the act of 
incorporation.-^ 

The Democrats had failed to in jure the Bank in this manner, 
but new strength was soon added to their cause by the sus- 
pension of specie payment by the banks of Pennsylvania on 
Ma} 7 11. The proposed issue of paper money aroused a storm 
of protest throughout the State, and matters were so alarming 
and the distress so great that pressure was brought to bear 
upon the governor to convene the legislature for an extra 

a Thomas Burrowes, afterwards noted for his great work in building np the school 
system of the State, now one of the most prominent Antimasons. 

l> Pennsylvania Reporter, January 31, 1837. 

c Miles Register, LII, 34. 

d Harrisburg Chronicle, January 25, 1837. 

e Harrisburg Chronicle, March 1, 1837. 

/Niles Register, LII, pp. 69,94. The report of the majority held that the State could 
annul the charter if it so wished, while the minority denied this power. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PABTY. 489 

session. This the governor did not do, and in his message 
relating to the matter he reviewed the situation and showed 
how useless temporary laws such as stay laws or any other 
makeshifts of the moment would be. a 

A resolution instructing the delegation to Congress to use 
their influence against any measure which would interfere 
with the rate of duties passed through the house by a vote of 
56 to 22. It is significant of the attitude of Pennsylvania 
toward the Democratic party that such a motion should have 
been passed by such a majority in a Democratic house. The 
opposition came from the strong Democratic counties, such as 
Berks, Philadelphia County, and Westmoreland. b 

The campaign resulted in the election to the senate of 18 
members of the Antimasonic-Whig party and 40 of the same 
party to the lower house. Stevens was returned again for 
Adams County/ It was a great gain over the previous elec- 
tion, but still it did not give the united party the necessaiy 
majority in a combined vote, although it had a majority in 
the senate. d 

a Niles Register, LII, 200. See also Wilson's History of Pittsburg, 785. 
b Harrisburg Chronicle, February 1, 1837. 
f Pennsylvania Reporter, October 27, 1837. 

dThe majority in the senate was due to a great extent to the red istric ting plan put in 
operation by the Whig administration of 1836. 



CHAPTER XVII LEGISLATIVE ISSUES AND THE ELECTION 

OF 1838, 



Upon the opening of the legislature, Burden, a Whig, was 
elected chairman of the senate by a vote of 18 to 11, while 
the Democrats elected a speaker in the lower house by a vote 
of 53 to 42. 

The legislature found itself with an unexpected balance of 
over $2,000,000 in the treasury, thanks to the veto in the pre- 
vious session. This was a tempting state of affairs to the 
different enterprises which were being hurried forward in the 
State. The same spirit which had characterized the previous 
house took possession of this one, and an act was passed ap- 
propriating a large amount for repair and expenses and con- 
tinuing the work on the Erie extension and also on the North 
Branch Canal and the Gettysburg Railroad. The governor 
in a message pointed out that the bill contained appropriations 
entirely inadequate for some portions of the work while other 
portions, whose needs were not so urgent, received the full 
estimated amounts. He pointed out also that the railroads, 
and especially the Gettysburg Railroad, did not receive suf- 
ficient amounts. 6 . 

The bill became a law, however, without his signature. The 
Gettysburg Railroad appropriation was not decided until 
March, when it was finally passed by a vote of 55 to 38. Mil- 
lions were squandered on turnpikes, railroad and canal com- 
panies, and enterprises of all kinds. Philadelphia City voted 
for the Gettysburg Railroad, but Philadelphia County gave it 
only one vote; a sufficient number of Democrats from the 
north and west supporting the project to make the appropri- 



aNiles Register, LIU. 325. 

ft See message, Harrisburg Chronicle, January 13, 1838. See also ibid., January 10, 1838. 
American Daily Register, January 13, 1838. 

490 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 491 

ation a surety. a Though the measure could not have gone 
through without Democratic votes, yet it was made one of the 
chief grievances against Ritner in the coming election, it being 
alleged that he was under the control of Thaddeus Stevens in 
this matter. 6 

That the Democrats had not ceased their efforts against the 
banking system was made apparent by the introduction of a 
bill for the regulation of banks, especially in regard to the 
issuing of notes and the resumption of specie payments. The 
suspension of specie payment of the previous year, together 
with a flood of paper money, formed good grounds for the 
regulation of this business. In spite of meetings protesting 
against the bill, "because if it become a law it will compel 
many of those institutions [banks] to wind up their affairs and 
require payment of debts due to them without allowing such 
indulgence in the periods of payments, as the circumstances 
of their debtors in most instances will absolutely require,"* 
the bill passed the house by a vote of 56 to 40, the opposition 
being either Whigs or Antimasons, except one member (Reed) 
from Philadelphia County. a It was defeated in the senate by 
a vote of IT to 13.* 

The resumption of specie payments by the New York banks 
had raised such a clamor in Pennsylvania-^ that the banks de- 
cided on June 5 to resume payment on August 1. The United 
States Bank, or, as it was called in derision by its opponents 
because of a previous utterance of Ritner's, the "Balance 
Wheel," voted against this move. Ritner accordingly issued 
a proclamation requiring "all banks of the Commonwealth, on 
or before the thirteenth day of August * * to resume 
and continue the redemption of their respective notes, bills, 
and other obligations in gold and silver coin, according to the 

a Pennsylvania Reporter, March 20, 1838. Niles Register, LVI, 72. American Daily 
Advertiser, March 19, 22, April 6, 1838. It received $195,000. For other matter relating 
to the railroad, see American Daily Advertiser, December 9, 13, 16, 1837 and January 11, 
February 8, 9, 17, 1838. For appropriations to improvements see Laws of Pennsylvania, 
1837-38, acts No. 4, 74. Act No. 74 received the governor's signature and carried by far 
the larger appropriations. 

6 Account of Center County Democratic meeting. Pennsylvania Reporter. February 
6,1838. 

c Lebanon meeting. Pennsylvania Intelligencer. March 7, 1838. 

rf Pennsylvania Intelligencer, May 2, 1838. Pennsylvania Reporter, April 31, 1838. 

e Pennsylvania Reporter, May 11, 1838. See also ibid. February 2, March 6, 1838. The 
Whigs introduced a bill to allow the banks to issue notes under $5, but failed because of 
the Democratic majority in the house. Pennsylvania Reporter. July 26, 1838. 

/ Pennsylvania Reporter, April 27, July 20, 26, 1838. Franklin Repository, May 1, 1838. 



492 AMEKICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

true intent and meaning of their charters." It was also 
required that "all persons or bodies corporate who have vio- 
lated the laws of the State by the emission and circulation of 
notes of any denomination under five dollars,, commonly 
called 'shin plasters,' to take instant measures for the full 
and honest redemption of the same * * * under penalt}^ 
provided in such cases. " a 

The abolition question came up again in this session upon a 
petition presented by a member from Chester asking for the 
use of the hall of the House of Representatives to deliver 
lectures on the "Rights of Man." It was defeated by a vote 
of 56 to 27. An analysis of the vote shows that these 27 were 
nearly all Antimasons. Many Whigs voted against it. But 
one man from Philadelphia city, the Whig stronghold, voted 
for it. 6 

A bill of this session which clearly showed the tendency-of 
the Democrats of Pennsylvania to differ with the national 
leaders upon party questions was the bill instructing the 
Pennsylvania delegation to move for a postponement of 
the subtreasury bill then before Congress. This passed the 
house by a vote of 51 to 49, the Whigs and enough Demo- 
crats to carry it voting for it. 

The campaign which followed these events was the most 
exciting in the history of the Antimasonic party in Pennsyl- 
vania. The racial element was prominent from the first. The 

a Proclamation of July 10. Pennsylvania Reporter, July 20, 1838. Niles Register, LIV, 
pp. 304, 320. The question of doing away with the Bank was discussed in the constitu- 
tional convention, but nothing was done. Harrisburg Chronicle, January 5, 1838. For 
further matter relating to the Bank in Pennsylvania politics see American Daily Adver- 
tiser, January 11, 12, 16, 24, 25, February 3, 23, December 8, 13, 22, 1837; and January 10, 
February 26, March 5, 15, 1838. 

bNiles Register, LIII, 354. "That Governor Ritner," said the Pennsylvania Reporter, 
"is entitled to take rank among the abolitionists of Pennsylvania we presume will not 
at this late day be doubted. If his private sentiments be thrown entirely out of view, 
his public acts, his appointments to high and responsible stations of individuals noto- 
rious for their zeal in the cause of abolition and its consequence of amalgamation, leaves 
no room for doubt. He stands before the freemen of this Commonwealth as a candidate 
for their suffrages, and the fact of his being a colaborer in a cause so disorganizing in its 
tendencies, to the political institutions of the country, as the spread of abolitionism must 
be; and so repulsive to public feeling and public morals as amalgamation, evidently 
must not be lost sight of in the canvass." Pennsylvania Reporter, May 25, 1838. Many 
Antimasons, however, denied the abolitionist tendencies of their party. See Dauphin 
County Antimasonic convention. Pennsylvania Intelligencer, August 21, 1838. It was 
not so popular among the Germans on the whole as it was with the Quakers and the 
New England element. In the vote just mentioned some members from Lancaster voted 
against it. See also American Daily Advertiser, January 14, 19, February 2, 3, 1837; and 
January 20, February 1, 5, 1838. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 493 

Whigs and Antimasons again put Joseph Ritner forward as 
their champion, while the Democrats nominated David Kitten - 
house Porter, of Huntingdon, one of the Democrats who had 
voted with the Whigs for the postponement of the subtreasury 
bill. He was an iron manufacturer and had been in the State 
senate in the session of 1836-37. As he was of Scotch-Irish 
extraction, the Whigs tried to turn the German vote against 
him, and immediately upon his nomination their papers raised 
the cry of "conspiracy against the Germans," and pointed 
out the fact that only a few Germans were delegates to the 
convention.** 

Everything that had happened to the State was loaded upon 
Ritner by the Democrats. "Since Joseph Ritner came into 
power," said the Reporter, "he has received, in addition to 
all the ordinary revenue of the State, a large amount in the 
shape of bank bonuses, and near three millions from the 
General Government, * * * yet not a mile of additional 

a Pennsylvania Intelligencer, March 10, 1838. See, also, Harrisburg Chronicle, March 
5, 9, 1838. Niles Register, LIV, 16. It was obviously sound political policy to cause 
another split in the Democratic party. As Porter was a Democrat of the Wolf stripe it 
was hoped to split off the former German supporters of Muhlenberg. The German vote 
was appealed to in every manner. It was asserted that "ever since Joseph Ritner has 
been placed in the executive chair he has been systematically slandered and abused, 
and through him the Germans of Pennsylvania. The most opprobrious epithets have 
been heaped upon him, and them, originating in that peculiar hatred which is enter- 
tained by a portion of our population against German citizens. * * * When the Ger- 
mans of Pensylvania are thus treated, the native Germans the quiet, steady, and sober 
farmers of the greatest portion of the State it becomes them, as men who love their 
language and their institutions, to hurl back with scorn the foul imputations attempted 
to be. cast upon them and to rise in their might in support of German interests. * * * 
Joseph Ritner is a German born of German parents in the German county of Berks. 
Will not the German farmers flock to his support in opposition to a candidate of but 
doubtful character, a portion of whose supporters always make it a point to ridicule and 
defame the German name? Yes; they will this year show that the German farmers will 
not tamely submit to the calumnies of their bitter enemies any longer." Lebanon 
Courier, quoted in Pennsylvania Intelligencer, August 31, 1838. A great deal of this was 
inspired by the attacks made upon Ritner under the title of letters to his "Kitchen 
Cabinet," which were printed in some of the Democratic papers and which were imita- 
tions of the famous Maj. Jack Downing letters about General Jackson. Ritner, like 
Jackson, was pictured as an uneducated and unstatesmanlike figure, depending upon 
his "Yankee Kitchen Cabinet," composed of Stevens, Burrowes, Todd, and Penrose. 
The Democrats had many able writers who replied to the pro-German articles in like 
strain. The following is an instance: " 'Our German Administration." This is the war 
cry of the present humbug State administration. Does a man laugh at one of Governor 
Ritner' s simple messages, he forsooth abuses the Dutch. Does he scoff at the palpable 
humbug of the last proclamation, he opposes Dutch measures. Does a friend of General 
Porter salute the secretary of the land office with ' Wie Gates? ' he thereby makes light of 
the Dutch. If we were not almost all Dutch in Pennsylvania, means so vile, as are in 
daily use to convince us that Governor Ritner's men and measures are not all Dutch 
would not be made use of. His excellency's measures may be all German for aught he 
or anyone else can understand them, * * * but it cannot be so easily proven that his 
men are the very ' perl druck of Dutch.' " Pennsylvania Reporter, July 20, 1838. 



494 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

improvements has been brought into use, * * * the 
State debt has been increased, * * * the treasury is 
bankrupt, not having sufficient funds to meet the demands 
of the appropriation bill, and the next legislature 

will be compelled to resort to a permanent loan or stop the 
public improvements. " a Ritner thus entered the race handi- 
capped by being made the scapegoat of the extravagance and 
speculative spirit of the time, to circumstances which owed 
thieir origin fundamentally to national and not State issues. 

Never in any election so far considered were there more 
reckless accusations, blatant falsehoods, obscene poetry, and 
general bitterness displayed than in that of 1838. Ritner was 
accused of being the tool of designing politicians for corrupt 
ends and of being under the thumb of Stevens, whom he had 
appointed president of the board of canal commissioners. 
The Gettysburg railroad, pictured in the form of a letter S, 
nicknamed the u Tape worm," and ending at Stevens's iron 
works, was exhibited in all the leading Democratic papers; 
the church people, too, were warned that there was a " Deist" 
in the executive chair; in short, every sort of device was used 
to belittle and degrade him in the eyes of the people. 

But if Ritner was abused, Porter was even more abused by 
the artistic and ever-ready hands of Theophilus Fenn and his 
fellow editors. He was accused of being grossly immoral and 
of having illegitimate children, and supposed letters from them 
were published in the papers with all sorts of ribald poetry 
and comments. He was accused, too, of being a forger and a 
swindler and the papers were full of affidavits on both sides of 
the question. Political elections are notorious for such as the 
above, but the election of 1838 in Pennsylvania will rank as 
one of the worst in American history in this respect. Jt is 
but natural that this boiling caldron of political excitement 
should have led to the contested election, and the mob law and 
violence, known as the ""Buckshot War," the result of which 
left the Democrats triumphant and the Antimasons as a polit- 
ical party crushed out of existence. 

a Pennsylvania Reporter, May 25, 1838. 



CHAPTER XVIII THE BUCKSHOT WAR, 



What is known as the Buckshot war was the outcome of 
election difficulties in Philadelphia County. Conditions were 
such that if either party succeeded in electing its candidates 
to the lower house, it would have a majority in that body. 
There never was any question but that the senate was Whig, 
and, consequently, the election of Whigs or Democrats to the 
senate from this county made no difference, and was but a 
minor point of contention. It made no difference either as 
to the number of votes cast for Ritner or Porter, as whatever 
the results in this county, Porter was elected.** The main 
struggle, then, was over the legality of the votes cast for 
members of the lower house each party claiming that it had 
elected its candidates. 

Of. the troubles in Philadelphia County, and the right or 
wrong of the case, it is impossible to give a clear account. 
There is no doubt but that both sides used illegal methods at 
the polls, and the returns thus obtained were supported by 
partisan officials. After the election board had met, a dis- 
agreement over the results occurred, and the Whigs held a 
meeting of their own. At this meeting a return was made 
out and forwarded to Harrisburg by express. By this return 
the Whig ticket was declared elected. Burrowes, the secre- 
tary of the commonwealth, received this return in due form 
and in a legal manner, while the return from the Democratic 
judges was received by an agent of the sheriff and not by that 
official in person. Burrowes considered that he could do 
nothing but acknowledge the returns received ni the most 
legal form. 

The district concerned particularly was Northern Liberties, 
which the Whigs claimed by 1,000 votes. Some of the votes 

The Whig account says by 5,4% and the Democratic 9,152 See Pennsylvania Reporter, 
October 26, 1838. Pennsylvania Telegraph, October 10 (?), 1838. 

495 



496 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

for this district had been lost and trouble of a complicated 
nature had arisen, consequently the judges by a vote of 16 to 7 
had declared that the whole district vote should be thrown out. 
This elected the Democratic ticket. The Whigs contended 
that the judges could not do this, but that it was a matter for 
the legislature to decide upon as a contested election. 

There seems to be no denial that the Whigs acted within 
the technical meaning of the law, and there is no doubt but 
that the secretary had a technical right in considering the re- 
turns which he received in the legal manner as the correct 
ones. But who was to decide on the correctness of these re- 
turns? If the members designated by these returns were 
allowed to take their seats, it would put their party in the 
majority temporarily, and they could then easily vote their 
party in the majority permanently. Stevens claimed by a 
very clever argument that this should be the manner of pro- 
ceeding. According to him, the house was not a house until 
its members were sworn in, and the only way to organize it 
was to swear in the members who had been designated in the 
legal returns. ""Until then," he said, "no parties exist be- 
tween whom to form the issue. It is absurd to say that the 
prima facie decision of the contested seats in the house of 
representatives can be postponed until all the undisputed re- 
turns are read and those members decide the disputed ones; 
because until the speaker is elected and the members duly 
qualified they are not a body competent to entertain any ques- 
tion. * * * Everything anterior to that is a mere con- 
sentable agreement among so many gentlemen. And by the 
constitution and laws there must be one hundred members 
capable of voting for speaker and taking their seats at the 
organization. If the disputed seats are to be postponed until 
such organization is perfected, it would be easy to defeat it 
altogether, by contesting all the seats and leaving none as 
umpires. * * * The house is competent to take no vote 
as to the right of members to seats. They must, in every 
instance, be sitting members upon the returns furnished by 
the secretary of the Commonwealth; and the only way which 
they can be unseated, is by a petition presented by the claim- 
ing members, and that petition referred to a committee se- 

Stevens's address to citizens of Adams County. Pennsylvania Telegraph, January 17, 
1839. For Democratic account see Pennsylvania Reporter, October 26, 1838. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 497 

lected by lot, according to the act of 1791; whose report is 
final and conclusive. " a 

As the time approached for the organization of the legisla- 
ture, wild threats were made on each side. The Democrats 
said that if the Van Buren members did not have their seats 
upon the first day of the session, "twenty-thousand bayonets 
should bustle at Harrisburg." Threats were made that Sec- 
retar} r Burrowes would be punished for not turning the elec- 
tion returns over to the clerk of the house of the previous 
session upon his demand b and for stating that the election 
should be treated as if there had been no defeat. 6 

As the time drew near the Democrats began to organize 
their forces. Squads of men came from Philadelphia, " com- 
mittees of safety " were formed, leaders appointed, and every- 
thing made ready. The result was that upon December 4, the 
day upon which the legislature waS to meet, the little town of 
Harrisburg was full of armed belligerents, most of whom came 
from Philadelphia County. When the session of the house 
began on that day, the hall was crowded to the doors with 
outsiders. d 

The secretary of the commonwealth appeared and announced 
to the house that he delivered to them " the official returns of 
the late election for members of the House of Representatives." 
The clerk read these till he got to the county of Philadelphia, 
when a member arose, and pulling from his pocket a paper, 
said it contained the certified legal returns. After commotion 

a Stevens' s address, ibid., Pennsylvania Telegraph, January 17, 1839. 

b Pennsylvania Reporter, November 3, 1838. 

cNiles Register, LV, 205. Mr. Ruldoph Kelker, a prominent citizen of Harrisburg, 
now living, was an eyewitness to many of the transactions of the time, and has a great 
amount of literature upon the subject. He is perhaps better fitted than anyone else 
living to write a correct history of the events. Muchof the present account is based 
upon his corroborative testimony. Dr. Egle's account in Pennsylvania Magazine of 
History, XXIII, is not to be trusted, as he was a Mason and gives an unfair account of 
the matter. He says, for instance, that what Burrowes said was that "the election would 
be considered as not having taken place," which is not true, as shown by letter in Niles's 
Register, LV, 205. McCall's Life of Stevens, 51 et., gives a fairly good account of the 
proceedings; as also does Callender's Life of Stevens. Chapter 111. 

d Stevens in his partisan language describes them as follows "An unusual number of 
people filled the galleries and lobby. Several of the aisles, and the open space in front 
of the speaker s chair, were choked up with rude-looking strangers and the chairs of sev- 
eral members were surrounded with rough brawny bullies. My seat had the honor of 
being guarded by eight or ten of the most desperate brawlers of Kensington and Spring 
Garden who thrust themselves determinedly against my chair, and when 1 left it occa- 
sionally, one of them occupied it until my return. Most oi them wore coats with outside 
pockets, in which their hands were generally thrust: and it was afterwards satisfactorily 
ascertained that they wc-re armed with double-barrelled pistols, bowie knives, and 
dirks. ' Pennsylvania Telegraph, January 17, 1839. 

H. Doc. 461, pt 1 32 



498 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

and heated debate, Stevens proposed that they should proceed 
to organize by electing a speaker, and that the names returned 
by the secretary should be called, and then " if any gentle- 
men thought any other mode legal, they would call such 
names as they pleased, and if in so doing two speakers should 
happen to be chosen, they certainly would be courteous 
enough to find room for both on the speaker's platform until 
the law decided between them." a 

Accordingly General Cunningham, a Whig, was declared 
elected, receiving 52 votes, while Mr. Hopkins, a Democrat, 
was elected by that party. The two speakers proceeded to the 
platform and occupied it jointly, but as no business could be 
transacted both houses, now known as the u Hopkins house" 
and the "Stevens rump," adjourned until the next day at 10 
o'clock.* 

The leaders of both parties now proceeded to the senate, 
which had organized by using the Whig returns. Brown, of 
Philadelphia County, who was excluded, attempted to make a 
speech, but was called to order, whereupon a great tumult 
broke forth in the gallery and lobby, and cries of " Hear him! 
Hear him ! " together with threats against Penrose, the speaker, 
and against Burrowes and Stevens, who were present. Brown 
was finally allowed to speak, and loudly and persistently de- 
manded his rights. While he was doing so, the attitude of the 
crowd became so threatening that the whole proceedings had 
to be abandoned, and the speaker and his friends had to beat 
a hasty retreat through the rear windows/ The crowd then 
proceeded to hold a meeting in the senate rooms, where excited 
speeches were made.'* The attempt made by the Whig mem- 

a Pennsylvania Telegraph, January 17, 1839. 

bSee Stevens's address, Pennsylvania Telegraph, January 17, 1839. See also Pennsyl- 
vania Telegraph, December 13, 1838, for Whig account, and for Democratic account 
American Volunteer, Carlisle, December 6, 1838. 

c Niles Register, LV, pp. 237, 238, 240. Stevens gives the following account of their 
escape: " Mr. Burrowes and myself were standing in front of them near the fire. We were 
urged several times to withdraw as the only means of safety, and of preventing the effu- 
sion of blood. * * * Private information was conveyed both to Mr. Penrose and my- 
self, by persons from the crowd, that the ruffians were arranging it to 'stab' or 'knife' 
us. Mr. Burrowes * * * had left the house by a back window, and as the tumult grew 
thicker and nearer, after dark Mr. Penrose and myself did the same, and were followed 
by a large number of gentlemen, senators, and members of the house, as well as others. 
We had scarcely got behind the Treasury building when twenty or Jhirty of the mob broke 
out of the capitol and ran around to the window whence we escaped. On seeing it open, 
a person present testifies that they said: ' We are a minute too late', and inquired for Pen- 
rose." Stevens's address, Pennsylvania Telegraph, January 17, 1839. 

d See address of Whig and Antimasonic senators, Pennsylvania Telegraph, December 
10, 1838. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 499 

hers of the lower house to hold a meeting was also frustrated 
by the mob who pulled the temporary chairman from his seat 
and the scattered fragments of the house adjourned to a hotel. 

The whole city now was in the hands of the rioters. Upon 
a rumor that Ritner had seized the arsenal a savage crowd 
assembled before it and began an attack upon it. They were 
calmed, however, by being assured that no arms would be 
distributed by the governor." The mob next organized a 
" provisional " government which ran things as it pleased. 6 
The Whig officers did not dare to appear upon the streets, and 
it was publicly asserted that if they- should again try to or- 
ganize a legislature, Harrisburg " would be smothered in 
blood."* 

Meanwhile Governor Ritner issued a proclamation in which 
he described the existing disturbance and state of lawlessness, 
which he. said was encouraged "in person by an officer of the 
General Government from Philadelphia," and he called upon 
all good citizens to help to suppress these conditions, and 
ordered the militia to be in readiness. ^ The part of the proc- 
lamation calling on the citizens produced no impression, for 
the sheriff of the county, being a Democrat, insisted in a coun- 
ter statement that there was no rioting. Accordingly Ritner 
made a special requisition on Major-General Patterson, com- 
manding the first division of the Pennsylvania militia. He 
obtained a quantity of the ammunition then used by the Reg- 
ular Army, consisting of buckshot cartridges, and proceeded 

a Pennsylvania Telegraph, December 6, 1838. 

& Stevens said: "They prefer provisional governments! Next will come the 'revolu- 
tionary tribunal* and the guillotine, and these leaders of the 'people' will shine forth 
the Dantons and Robespierres of the age! " Stevens's address, Pennsylvania Telegraph, 
January 17, 1839. 

c Statement of Rudolph Kelker: Stevens describes the mob in the following language- 
"The most respectable of them, the 'Captains of Tens,' were keepers of disorderly 
houses in Kensington. Then came journeymen butchers, who were too worthless to find 
regular employment, next professional boxers, who practice their pugilisiic powers for 
hire; low gamblers, who infest the oyster cellars of the suburbs. A portion of them con- 
sisted of a class of men whose business you will hardly understand dog keepers, who 
in Spring Garden and Southwark, raise and train a ferocious breed of dogs, whom they 
fight weekly for wages, and for the amusement of the 'indignant people Their troop 
was flanked by a few professional thieves and discharged convicts. These men, gathered 
up from the holes and hovels, were refitted with such cast-off clothes as their .employers 
could command, and hired at fifteen dollars the head and freighted to come to Harris- 
burg and instruct the legislature in its duties, and protect their rights. ' Stevens s 
address, Pennsylvania Telegraph, January 17, 1839. 

d Pennsylvania Telegraph, December 10, 1838. 



500 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

to the city with his troops. a He arrived ori December 9, and 
immediately quieted the opposing forces, although he wisely 
did nothing to decide the case. Many of the men from Phila- 
delphia, however, were arrested and many more were com- 
pelled to leave the town. 6 Ritner also applied for the United 
States regulars stationed at Carlisle, but was refused/ Pat- 
terson's troops stayed but a few days and were superseded 
by a new detachment commanded b} r a Whig general. 

Quiet having been restored and the houses again organized, 
the Whig majority in the senate was found to be unques- 
tioned. The question now arose, which house would the sen- 
ate recognize as legal. As was to be expected it refused to 
recognize the " Hopkins house" by a vote of 20 to 13, rf but 
three members of the "Stevens rump" went over to the Dem- 
ocrats, thus giving them the majority and breaking the dead- 
lock. A resolution was therefore offered in the senate recog- 
nizing the Democratic house which passed by a vote of 17 to 
16 on December 25. e 

Montelius, of Union County, a member of the lower house, 
stated his reason for changing, as follows: 

In joining my party friends in organizing the house of representatives 
with the eight Philadelphia County members of the Whig party, I thought 
these had been elected by a majority of the votes of the county, and had 
been returned by a majority of the judges, but I soon found that this was 
not true, and that eight members of the opposition party from the county 
of Philadelphia had been elected by a majority of about five hundred in the 
whole county, and had been returned elected by a majority of the judges. 
I am sorry to say that the secretary of the State kept back these returns, 

a From this and from the fact that a negro was caught who was carrying some of the 
ammunition made by the Whigs at their headquarters, comes the name "Buckshot War." 
A verse of a popular doggerel of the day, entitled " Last days of Governor Ritner," con- 
tains an allusion to the incident: 

" Come up and come down, 
Come from country and town 
And obey the fat Deutchlaender's writ, sir. 
Come one and come all 
With buckshot and ball 
And take care of Governor Ritner." 

From Pennsylvanian, quoted in Carlisle Volunteer, December 27, 1838. 
^ Pennsylvania Telegraph, December 10, 1838. 

cThis was made the subject of a very interesting debate in Congress. See Twenty-fifth 
Congress, third session, debate in the House of Representatives, Wednesday, December 
19. these proceedings and accompanying documents are given fully in Niles Register 
LV, pp. 268, 294. 

d Pennsylvania Telegraph, December 19. See also Ibid, December 13, 1838. 
e Pennsylvania Telegraph, December 27, 28, 1838. January 14, 1839. Niles Register, 
LV, 273. 





THE ANTIMASONJC PARTY. 501 

which I think was wrong. Under the circumstances I could not continue 
to act with men who had no right to their seats no more than my oppo- 
nent had to mine. 

Of the members who changed in the senate, Mr. Strohm 
explained his act by stating that he could only recognize the 
house when it was legally assembled, and that he had done so 
according to his oathj and because he wanted especially to end 
the matter and restore peace and order. b 

So ended the "Buckshot war," c and so ended practically 
the Antimasonic party in Pennsylvania. d 

It seems from all the evidence that the Democrats did elect 
their members, but the matter is hidden by conflicting state- 
ments and affidavits. Philadelphia County had been Demo- 
cratic through the whole period, and it was probably so in 
1838, although signs of change had been seen in the attitude 
of Reed, member of the house from that county in the pre- 
vious legislature, and in the fact that in a special election held 
there the previous year a Whig had defeated a Democrat for 
Congress/ There seems to be no doubt, however, of the 
culpability of the Democrats in causing the riot at Harris- 
burg and using illegal and extreme methods/ 

Stevens, fuming over the defeat of all his plans, stayed away 
from the house in protest until May, filling the papers mean- 
while with his denunciations of the Democrats. The house 
finally expelled him from his seat for using disrespectful lan- 
guage, declaring, too, that he had forfeited it by his long 
. . , t 

a Carlisle Volunteer, December 27, 1838. 

b Pennsylvania Telegraph, January 22, 1839. 

c J. Q. Adams in his diary says of it: "The whole series of these events is a develop- 
ment of our condition of no good omen to the future of our political institutions." 
Adams's Diary, X, 65. 

dThe Carlisle Volunteer (Democratic) of January; 10, 1839, has the following amusing 
notice: "For Salt River! To sail on Tuesday, the 15th of January [inauguration day 
under the new charter]. The schooner Peg Beatty [a disreputable character whose 
name his opponents had connected with Porter's in the campaign], with a full cargo of 
wooden nutmegs and other notions, together with a considerable supply of live stock. 
The vessel will be commanded by Thaddeus Stevens, and is expected to navigate the 
headwaters of the aforesaid celebrated river. The following-named persons have also 
taken passage, viz, Joseph Ritner, Thomas H. Burrowes, Theophilus Fenn, Chas. B. 
Penrose. * * * The company will be select. No 'bullies' or people with ' ugly noses, 
ugly looks and no shirt collars' will be permitted to interrupt the delightful harmony of 
the voyage. An excellent band of music will be provided for the voyage, which will 
from time to time play the delightful and popular air called the 'Rogue's March.' " 

e Special election, Third district; Harrisburg Chronicle, July 5, 1837. 

/They were charged, and it seems with much truth, of a design to blowup a train 
load of soldiers on the way to Harrisburg. Niles Register, LVII, 27. 



502 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

absence. a He, however, was triumphantly returned by his 
constituents. b 

The Antimasonic spirit did not immediately die out in the 
State, but continued to live in the western part, where it was 
connected with the temperance, antislaver} 7 , and anti-Catholic 
movements, certainly as late as 1855/ 

As compared with New York, we have noted many like con- 
ditions. The chief points of difference seem to be the follow- 
ing: (1) The party in New York was composed almost exclu- 
sively of National Republicans, while in Pennsylvania a large 
number were undoubtedly Democrats, as shown by the vote 
for Jackson. How, then, did the union come about? This 
question brings us to another great difference. (2) The Anti- 
masonic policy in Pennsylvania was primarily an anti-Wolf 
policy and anti-improvement policy, in fact, just opposite to 
what it was in New York. Many Antimasons in the early 
days, especially among the eastern Germans, were practically 
Jacksonian Democrats, but in later days were turned by Stev- 
ens into anti-Jackson as well as anti-Wolf men. This was the 
more easily accomplished because of the union of Wolf and 
Jackson. That this could be done leads us to the third fact. 
(3) Antimasonry in Pennsylvania was a far more honest and 
real movement than in New York, and was deeply rooted in 
the soil furnished by the various radical sects of the State. 
It was because of this fact that the eastern Germans could be 
led to, unite with the Whigs upon so many questions. (4) The 
fourth difference lies in the fact that the New York Antima- 
sons had from the start a galaxy of brilliant writers and able 
and ambitious politicians in their ranks, while Pennsylvania 
had few of these. To Thaddeus Stevens must be given the 
credit of uniting the Whigs and Antimasons of Pennsylvania 
after the partial union of 1832 had proved a failure and when 

a Pennsylvania Telegraph, June 12, 1839. Ibid, January 3, June 19, 1839. Niles Regis- 
ter, LVI, 228. 

& Niles Register, LVI, pp. 216, 277. 

e Gazette and Advertiser, February 22, 1846; Pennsylvania Reporter, October 22, 1841; 
Wilson's History of Pittsburg, 803. Stevens, in 1843, tried hard to revive it, but without 
success. (See McCall's Life of Stevens, 61.) The Scotch-Irish of the west had condemned 
Masonry, even before the Morgan incident. Wilson's History of Pittsburg, 793. This sec- 
tion contains to-day great numbers of the United Presbyterians, who do not allow their 
members to belong to secret organizations. The " Christian " party, which has gathered 
a few votes in nearly every national election from 1866 till the present time, has had a 
strong following in this region. The pardoning of a man named Pluymart, a Mason who 
had robbed a bank, formed in the early days one of the strongest arguments against the 
Masons in this region. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 



503 



the opposition was disorganized and declining. The Whigs 
were comparatively few in number, and by showing them 
that in cooperation with him in his crusade against Masonry 
lay their only chance for success he united these opposite 
interests. When the farmers of the east saw that they would 
have to pay taxes if the Bank was not rechartered, they were 
reconciled to a large extent to Whig doctrines. Of the other 
elements, the western people about Pittsburg were already in 
strong opposition to Jackson because of their manufacturing 
interests, and looked upon the Bank question as all manufac- 
turing districts naturally would, while the people of the north- 




presidential election in Pennsylvania in 1840. 

west saw the only realization of their plans for connecting 
the Lake with Philadelphia bound up with the Whig policy 
and the Bank. We have here, then, the elements of the strong 
Whig party which in 1840 carried the State of Pennsylvania 
for their candidate, General Harrison/' 

After all is said, the great fact in the history of Antima- 
sonry in Pennsj^lvania is the personality of Thaddeus Stevens, 
a Yankee leader of Pennsylvania Quakers, Scotch-Irish Presby- 
terians, and German Sectarians. 

a Pennsylvania Reporter, November 20, 1840. Harrison carried the State by a vote 
of 446. 



CHAPTER XIX, VERMONT, 



We have to consider briefly a group of States which are of 
less importance in the history of the Antimasonic party than 
the great political centers of the country New York and 
Pennsylvania. This group is comparatively unimportant for 
several reasons; first, in some States like Ohio and Massachu- 
setts the part}^ was comparatively weak; second, where Anti- 
masonry was strong, as it was in Vermont, the State itself was 
of little importance in the great political struggles of the time; 
third, in many of these States the party was not really dis- 
tinct from the National Republican party, had no original 
platform of its own, and was rather a social than a political 
movement; fourth, these States produced no such able politi- 
cians and organizers of Antimasonry as Weed in New York 
or Stevens in Penns}^lvania. It is true that the party had in 
its ranks such men as Adams in Massachusetts, but it was on 
the whole more of a social than a political issue with them. 
With these preliminary remarks we will consider briefly the 
State of Vermont. 

Vermont was well fitted for such a movement. The State 
bordered upon New York, and in the exciting days of the 
early agitation caught some of the spirit of Antimasonry pre- 
valent in that State. To this had been added the fact that 
some of the witnesses wanted in the Morgan abduction trials 
had escaped into Vermont. Again, the soil was favorable 
because the people were almost entirely small farmers of the 
religious New England type, and it was in this sort of com- 
munity that Antimasonry found its most fruitful soil. a 

The newspapers of Vermont at this time seem to have been all weekly. They reflect 
the life of the State very well. They usually contain very little political news, but con- 
tain a great many stories, mostly of a moral or religious nature sermons and temper- 
ance exhortations. The sessions of the legislature were of but a few weeks in length and 
the matter transacted was trivial, such as the repair of the roads, bridges, etc. The 
papers reflect in fact the life of a rural population absorbed in religious matters. 

504 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 505 

As early as 1827 the excitement appeared in eastern Ver- 
mont, especially in Caledonia County, and was spread largely 
through the efforts of the Danville North Star, which may be 
said to have been the pioneer paper devoted to Antimasonry in 
the State. The county of Caledonia was henceforth to be con- 
sidered the headquarters of the "blessed spirit" in the State. a 

In 1828 Weed's paper was ordered from all parts of the 
State, 6 and town meetings were held upon the subject in many 
of the towns of Orange and Caledonia counties/ In the 
fall of that year a hot contest for a Congressional Repre- 
sentative was waged in the Caledonia district (fifth), and as 
the Antimasonic candidate, Gaboon, did not receive a ma- 
jority of the votes, the election had to be contested many 
times. The struggle in this district was clearly between the 
National Republicans and the Antimasons, the Jackson party 
never polling a large vote/' Ity October the battle through- 
out the State had begun in earnest, and we hear of the mutual 
recriminations and abuse of the rival sects, the troubles in the 
churches, the renunciations by Masons, and renunciations by 
Antimasons because of the " domination of unprincipled politi- 
cal leaders," in fact, all the bitterness and feverish excitement 
that marked the contest in the other States/ 

It is well to note here that Vermont was a strong National 
Republican State. The National Republican support of the 
American system could not but meet the approval of an iso- 
lated and declining agricultural community such as this State 
was. With the decline of agriculture came an effort to grow 
wool and to manufacture woolen goods and iron. Petty manu- 
facturing concerns were springing up in many directions, 
especially in the eastern part along the upper course of the 
Connecticut/ With these industries came projects for better 
communication. A scheme was formed for a canal to unite 
Lake Champlain at Burlington with Dover and Portsmouth, 
N. H., through the valleys of the Onion and Wells river to 
the Connecticut, and then to connect with a route formerly 

a Albany Evening Journal, September 16, 1831. Seward's report in the national con- 
vention, September 11, 1830. 

b Weed, Autobiography, I, 309. 

f Seward's report in the national convention, September 11, 1830. 

d See Albany Argus, September 23, 1828. New Hampshire Patriot, September 15. Salem 
Gazette, September 16, 1828. 

eSee Albany Argus, October 24, 1828. 

/See Vermont Watchman, April 21, 23, 1829. 



506 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

surveyed for the New Hampshire canal at the mouth of the 
Oliverian River in Haverhill, and from thence to Lake Win- 
ipiseogee.^ Actual surveys were made by United States en- 
gineers upon this route. 6 Schemes for the improvement of 
the navigation of the Connecticut were also much discussed/' 
Keeping these facts in view, it will readily be seen that any 
efforts to disrupt the party which the great majority of the 
people of Vermont thought favorable to her future happiness 
and prosperity would meet with the strongest opposition. It 
will be readily seen, too, why the Antimasons, with their 
strongholds in the eastern part of the State along the Con- 
necticut, would have the same national polic}^ as the National 
Republicans. That they should secede from the latter party 
and form one of their own was looked upon as evidence of 
sheer wantonness and selfish desire for office upon the part of 
the leaders. These conditions made the hatred between the 
two factions more intense, perhaps, than even in Pennsylvania 
or New York. 

On August 5, 1829, the Antimasonic party was first truly 
organized in the State. .Upon that date a State convention 
was held, which, after much the usual proceedings of such 
conventions, nominated a candidate for governor. Among 
those present, it is significant to note, were the Rev. Nathaniel 
Colver, a noted Antimason of New York, and Henry Dana 
Ward, one of the great agitators and writers from that State. 
The convention was composed mostly of ministers. Much 
of the time was taken up with discussing plans by which the 
movement upon the west side of the mountains, where it was 
stHl weak, could be strengthened. The candidate for gov- 
ernor soon afterwards declined the honor. d 

The party polled over 7,300 votes, and elected 33 members 
to the legislature, the National Republicans electing 136 and 
the Democrats 45. As this gain is astonishing, we are not 
'surprised to find that there was a cause for it in an incident 
which happened immediately before the election. 

About this time a man named Cutter, of Woodstock, made 

a North Star, Danville, September 8, 1829. 

b Governor Craft's speech, Vermont Watchman, October 8, 1829. 

c Vermont Watchman, October 27, 1829. 

^Vermont Watchman, August 11, 1829. Seward's report in the national convention, 
September 11, 1830. 

e Albany Argus, September 10, October 20, 1829. Vermont Watchman, September 8 (?), 
1829. Seward's report in the national convention, September 11, 1830. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 507 

an affidavit before a magistrate that he had in July met in 
New York one Joseph Burnham, a Mason who had been sent 
to prison, and was supposed to have died there on October 15, 
1826. He was formerly intimate with Burnham, and posi- 
tivety identified him. As Burnham was a Mason, and the 
superintendent of the State prison was a Mason, this was suffi- 
cient to convince the Antimasons that Burnham was not dead, 
but was still at large. The legislature immediate!}^ began an 
investigation. A committee was appointed, one of whom 
went to New York and hunted up the man seen by Cutter and 
found that he was not Burnham. This did not, however, 
satisfy the Antimasons, and Burnham's bod}: was afterwards 
several times disinterred, and finally identified by his wife. a 
The incident caused feverish excitement for a while, and was 
afterwards made the subject of a great deal of ridicule by the 
enemies of the Antimasons. 

The long-continued struggle in the Fifth Congressional dis- 
trict ended this year with the election of Cahoon, the Anti- 
masonic candidate. The contest had been going on for a 
year, and had resulted in the gradual increase of the Anti- 
masonic vote till a majority was obtained.* 

The election of 1830 showed a remarkable increase in the 
Antimasonic votes, so great, indeed, that of the three candi- 
dates none received a majorit} T , and the election had to be de- 
cided by the legislature. Crafts, the former National Repub- 
lican governor, received 13,186 votes, while William A. 
Palmer, the Antimasonic candidate, received 10,925, and 
Meech, the Democratic candidate, received 6,285. After 
thirty -two ballotings of the legislature, Mr. Crafts was elected 
by a small majority/ 

An analysis of the vote shows that the strongest Antima- 
sonic counties were Caledonia on the east and Addison on the 
west. Samuel Prentiss was elected senator this year, receiv- 
ing 120 National Republican votes, while William A. Palmer, 
Antimasonic, received 60, and the Democratic nominee 29. 

a See Albany Argus, November 8 (?), 20, 1829. Records of governor and council of Ver- 
mont, VII, 360. 

b Vermont Watchman, November 10, 1829. Albany Argus, November 23, 1829. See, 
also, Albany Argus, September 23, 1828, May 22, September 17, 1829. Vermont Watch- 
man, January 13, 1829. 

c Danville North Star, September 21, 1830. Albany Argus, October 26, 1830. Thomson's 
History of Vermont (Burlington, 1842), gives a short account of the election. 



508 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

This shows a distinct gain for the Antimasons. It probably 
puts the National Republican strength too high, as there is 
some evidence that many Democrats, hopeless of electing 
their candidate, threw their votes for the National Repub- 
licans. a 

Although the National Republicans had full sway in the 
legislature, they did not dare refuse the demands of the Anti- 
masons that the charter of the grand chapter and grand lodge 
of the State should be repealed. There is no doubt that if 
they had refused it would have but added greater strength to 
the Antimasonic cause. 6 

1831. 

The year 1831 was a very important one for the party in 
this State. The State convention assembled on June 15, at 
Montpelier, and nominated William A. Palmer for governor 
and appointed seven delegates to the national convention. The 
temper of the convention and its dislike for Jackson is shown 
by the following resolution, which was offered: 

Resolved, That the convention views with great regret and astonishment 
the influence of Masonry that no man is duly qualified to be President 
of the United States unless he is a high Mason, murderer and a duelist. 

The convention distinctly declared that it ' ' considered adher- 
ence to Masonry a disqualification for any responsible office 
in the State or nation. " c 

The National Republicans thought that by nominating a man 
who was in sympathy with the Antimasonic movement they 
would help their cause and possibly unite the broken party. 
They accordingly nominated Heman Allen, who had received 
the Antimasonic nomination twice and declined both times. a 
Ezra Meech again received the nomination of the Democratic 
party. The election resulted in no choice, but Palmer received 
about two thousand more votes than Allen. The Antimasons 
carried the counties of Windsor, Addison, Orange, Caledonia, 
Franklin, Orleans, and Essex, of which all but Addison are in 
the eastern part of the State. They also elected 114 members 
to the house and council, while the National Republicans 

a North Star, November 1, 1831. 

6See Albany Evening Journal, November 20, 1830. New York Commercial Advertiser, 
quoted in same, December 3, 1830. Niles Register, XXXIX, 188. Niles says that it passed 
without opposition, the Masons generally voting for it. 

c Albany Argus, June 23, 1831. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 509 

elected 63 and the Democrats 31. a Palmer received 15,258 
votes, Allen 12,990, and Meech 6,158. When the legislature 
assembled, Palmer was elected governor on the ninth ballot, 
the National Republicans dividing their votes between Crafts 
and Allen. 6 

In his message of this year Governor Palmer defined the 
policy of his party in Vermont. It in no way differed from 
the National Republican principles on the matter of tariff and 
internal improvements/ He differed, however, in recom- 
mending the abolishment of "extra judicial oaths" and in his 
idea that in the appointment of officials only those "who 
are unshackled by any earthly allegiance " should be recom- 
mended. c 

The work of the session was trivial; a few bank and rail- 
road incorporation bills were passed, but nothing was done 
about "extra judicial oaths." In fact, from the opposition 
accounts, there was no particular hostility to the Masons. ^ 

Meanwhile, a very exciting contest was going on in the 
Second Congressional district, composed of Addison and Rut- 
land counties, in the western part of the State. Addison was 
strongly Antimasonic, while Rutland was National Repub- 
lican. This contest proved a victory, after many trials, for 
Slade, the Antimasonic candidate/ In the Fourth Congres- 

a Vermont Watchman, September 26, 1831. See, also, Albany Argus, September 17, 23, 
October 20, 1831. Albany Evening Journal, September 13, 16, 20, 24, 1831. Vermont State 
Journal, August 6, 1832. 

& Albany Evening Journal, October 20, 1831. See Records of Governor and Council, 
VIII, pp. 6, 7. 

c"The approbation uniformly expressed by the people of this State of the policy of a 
protecting tariff and the encouragement given to works of internal improvement by the 
General Government can not fail to produce in us a hearty cooperation in suitable meas- 
ures for the promotion of these great objects." Albany Evening Journal, October 27, 
1831. Vermont Assembly Journal, 1831, p. 26. Albany Argus, October 29, 1831. Records 
of Governor and Council, VIII, p. 263. 

dSays the Vermont Watchman (National Republican): "After the struggle that has 
resulted in the complete triumph of Antimasonry in the legislature of Vermont, to see 
that legislature, with an Antimasonic majority, and in full and free exercise of its power, 
abandon every principle held sacred before the election in relation to the appointment 
of members of the Masonic fraternity to office now to see them turn to the ' rightabout 
face ' and deliberately place two high Masons upon the bench of the supreme court, 
* * * place other adhering Masons in the sheriff's and many other important depart- 
ments of the government, and even commit their souls to the keeping of a Sir Knight 
Templar as the chosen chaplain and their bodies to the care of a Royal Arch Door Keeper; 
to witness all this, we must acknowledge would most certainly excite some little astonish- 
ment among the people, did we not believe they feel disposed to make very great allow- 
ance for the frailty of poor human nature." Albany Argus, November 21, 1831. 

Albany Argus, November 21, 1831. See also Albany Evening Journal, July 9. 11, 18, 
November 6, 1831. Vermont State Journal, July 16, 1831. Slade was a noted Abolitionist. 
Schouler, History of the United States, IV, p. 301. 



510 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

sional district, composed of Franklin, Chittenden, Orleans, 
and Grand Isle, a lively fight was carried on despite the fact 
that the Antiunasonic candidate had once turned his vote over 
to the National Republicans. a In 1832 Heman Allen, of Mil- 
ton (National Republican), was finally elected. 

1832. 

The year 1832 opened with Antimasonry in full control and 
hopeful of national success. The State convention of this 
year met at Montpelier on June 27, and there resolved- 
That in order to prostrate and destroy the power of Freemasonry, to main- 
tain the protective system, to sustain the authority and integrity of the 
Supreme Court, to support the United States Bank, to continue the con- 
struction of necessary and national works of internal improvements; to 
arrest the heresy embraced in the doctrine of nullification, and to vindi- 
cate the pledged though violated faith of the nation to the poor Indian, 
we will ourselves support, and recommend to the support of all our citizens 
in every quarter friendly to the same measures, William Wirt, as a candi- 
date for the office of President of the United States, and Amos Ellmaker 
as a candidate for the office of Vice-President, believing them to be men 
to whom these and every interest of the nation may be safely intrusted 
for maintenance. 

They also resolved that a "repeal or modification of the 
duties on wool and woolens which shall cease to afford ade- 
quate protection to the wool grower and manufacturer will 
completely prostrate and paralyze the prosperity of this part 
of the Union." 6 

Palmer was again nominated for governor and again the 
election was thrown into the legislature. Palmer received 
17,318 votes; Crafts, 15,499, and Ezra Meech, 8,210. In the 
legislature Palmer was elected on the fort}^- third ballot/ 
The national election resulted in a plurality for Wirt, he 
receiving 13,106 votes, while Clay received 11, 152 and Jackson 
7,870. Wirt carried Windsor, Addison, Orange, Caledonia, 
Frankl : n, and Orleans counties, while Clay carried Windham, 
Rutland, Chittenden, and Grand Isle. The counties which 
had projects for internal improvements or expected to gain 

Vermont State Journal, June 11, 1832. Albany Argus, June 13, 1832. See also Albany 
Evening Journal, December 27, 1830, April 30, June 13, June 30, 1831. Vermont State 
Journal, December 26, 1831. Albany Argus, December 28, 1831. 

& Albany Evening Journal, July 16, 1832. Vermont State Journal, July 2, 1832. 

c Albany Evening Journal, September 8, 1832. Albany Argus, September 18, 1832. See 
also Albany Argus, September 18,19,20,1832. Records of Governor and Council, VIII, 
pp. 58, 60. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 511 

from the National Republican policy as a rule gave either 
Antimasonic or National Republican majorities. a 

Governor Palmer's message of this year referred again to 
the "imposition and multiplication of extra judicial oaths," 
and spoke of the necessity of high tariff and the rechartering 
of the United States Bank. 6 In accordance with these recom- 
mendations, the delegation to Congress was instructed to pre- 
vent a reduction of the tariff and the appropriation for internal 
improvement, to work for the recharter of the Bank, and to 
uphold the Supreme Court. The matter of "extra judicial 
oaths" came up again, and a committee reported favorably 
upon it, but as there was not a sure majority in its favor it 
did not finall\ T pass till the next session. A law was passed 
also redistricting the State and changing the election laws 
upon Congressional elections so that a plurality only was 
required on the third trial if no person had a majority on the 
first two/ 

At the January Congressional elections, in accordance with 
the new law, the party succeeded in electing three members 
to Congress. They asserted that they were beaten in the 
Second district by a coalition of Democrats and National 
Republicans. d 

The bitterness which the followers of Clay felt after the 
election of 1832, showed itself in Vermont in the form of a 
coalition or union with the Jackson forces in order to defeat 
the Antimasons at the coming election. The Antimasons evi- 
dently foresaw the move, for in the State convention held at 
Montpelier on June 26, 1833, they passed resolutions upon 
this subject/ 

The Democratic and the National Republican State conven- 

' Albany Argus, November 26, 1832. 

''Albany Argus, October 30, 1832. Records of Governor and Council, VIII, p. 265. 
Albany Argus, October 30, 1832. 

c Albany Evening Journal, December 21, 1832. The districts seem to be on the whole 
favorable to the party. 

d North Star, May 20, 1833. See also Albany Argus, January 30, February 5, March 25, 
1833. Albany Evening Journal, January 18, 1833. Vermont Courier, May 10, Vermont 
State Journal, March 11, 1833. 

They resolved that "a coalition between two opposing parties to put down the third 
at the expense of the abandonment of their distinctive party principles is a most mani- 
fest departure from consistency, integrity, and republican independence, and is substi- 
tuting the blindness of party zeal or the mandates of party leaders for the honest convic- 
tions of truth and a laudable adherence to principle." "Resolved, That such is the 
character of the coalition now forming between the Masonic parties of this State against 
Antimasonry notwithstanding they shrink from a fair discussion of its principles before 
the public and dare not meet its advocates in the field of honorable argument." "Re- 
solved, That Antimasonry being in opposition to Freemasonry with an intent to abolish 



512 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

tions assembled at Montpelier on the third of July. They 
united on a ticket, with Ezra Meech, the former Democratic 
nominee, at the head of it. The Burlington Sentinel said 
these proceedings resulted from "the universal desire mani- 
fested by all for a thorough reform of the political character 
of the State. In the selection of an union ticket it will be 
perceived that the delegates have been governed by a desire 
to advance men to public office who are of sterling sense and 
acquirements; and we can not but believe the great mass of 
the people, * * * the lovers of good order and equal 
rights will cheerfully come forward in their support. * * * 
The fate of Palmer nnd Antimasonry is sealed in Vermont. " a 

The nominee for lieutenant-governor and 8 councillors were 
National Republicans and 4 were Jackson men. The Middle- 
bury Free Press classified 9 out of the 15 councillors nomi- 
nated as Freemasons. 6 

The union was the cause of much excitement, which ex- 
tended to the neighboring States. Many of the National 
Republican papers openly expressed approbation of the course 
of their political brethren in Vermont, while on the other 
hand the radical Jackson papers and the radical National 
Republican papers, together with those of the latter party 
with an Antimasonic tinge, denounced the scheme/ Many 
of the National Republicans and Democrats within the State 
were dissatisfied with the combination, and the dissatisfied 
National Republicans nominated Horatio Seymour, who had 
been Senator from 1821-1833. 

The election resulted in an overwhelming victory for Pal- 
mer. The Antimasonic ticket received 20,565 votes, the 
Union ticket 15,683, Seymour 1,765, and Roberts, dissenting 
Democrat, 772. The Antimasons carried the counties of 
Windham, Rutland, Windsor, Addison, Caledonia, Franklin, 
and Orleans. d The Democrats blamed the National Repub- 

it, such a coalition for such purposes, as its advocates allege, of ' putting down Anti- 
masonry' is a coalition to save Freemasonry from destruction." "Resolved, That we 
continue to support the leading measures of national policy in relation to the judiciary, 
currency, protection to domestic industry and internal improvements of which we have 
heretofore expressed our approbation." Albany Evening Journal, July 11, 1833. 

a Albany Argus, July 15, 1833. 

b Albany Evening Journal, July 9, 1833. The Vermont State Journal, July 22, 1833, calls 
ten of them Masons. 

<?See letter of Edward Everett in Albany Evening Journal, Augusts, 1833. See also 
Vermont State Journal (Antimasonic) for further effects of the scheme. 

d Albany Evening Journal, October 14, 1833. See also Albany Evening Journal, Sep- 
tember 6. Vermont State Journal, October 11, 1833. Albany Argus, September 9, 16, 17; 
October 16, 1833. Burlington Sentinel, September 6, 1833. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 513 

licans for the defeat. They said that the newspapers of the 
latter " have denounced the ticket as one which ought not to 
be supported because it would be considered favorable to the 
administration. * * * In general, the National Repub- 
lican editors opposed the ticket and denounced it to the 
last."" 

It was found upon the opening of the legislature that the 
Antimasons had a majority in the house and council. With 
this decided victory, the act forbidding extra judicial oaths 
was passed November 7, 1833.* The party also attempted to 
arraign the supreme court of the State, but failed to prove 
its charges/ 

1834. 

The year 1834 found Antimasonry in Vermont, although 
triumphant, yet despairing of national success. In New York 
the party had become practically Whig, and many urged the 
necessity of uniting with the Whigs in Vermont. This ques- 
tion was discussed in the State convention of this year. It 
was pointed out by many that the Masonic institution was 
practically abolished and that the party had all other interests 
in common with the Whigs. The opinion, however, pre- 
vailed that the Whigs were "Masonic," and it was decided 
not to join them. Consequently Palmer was again nominated 
for governor. a The Whig convention nominated Horatio 
Seymour, who had been the candidate of the National Repub- 
licans of the previous year/ 

The election resulted in a plurality for Palmer. He re- 
ceived 17,131 votes, while Bradley, the Democratic candidate, 
received 10,365, and Seymour 10,159. The State Journal 
(Antimasonic) claimed that 102 Antimasons, 57 Whigs, and 49 
Jackson men were elected/ As Bradley and Seymour both 
refused to be candidates in the assembly, Palmer was again 
elected. g 

<i Albany Argus, September 17, 1833. 

ft Vermont State Journal, December 2, 1833. Vermont Assembly Journal, 1832, pp. 150, 
152. This act, as far as could be ascertained, has never been rescinded. 

f Records of the Governor and Council, VIII, pp. 291, 294, 296. 

d Vermont State Journal, May 26, August 4,18, 1834. Boston Independent Chronicle, 
June 4, 1834. See also Slade's letter against the union, Niles Register, XLVII, 238. 

e Vermont State Journal, July 14, 1834. 

/Vermont State Journal, September 15, 1834. 

9 Records of Governor and Council, VIII, 164. 

H. Doc. 461, pt 1 33 



514 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

Governor Palmer, in his inaugural message, expressed the 
opinion "that a national bank, with proper powers and re- 
strictions is both necessary and constitutional. * * I 
deem, however, the charter of the present bank exceptionable 
in several of its provisions, and am opposed to its renewal at 
the present time." a 

These opinions led to a great deal of criticism of him. 
Many thought him about to break away from Whig prin- 
ciples, and some of the Democrats even claimed him as a con- 
vert to their opposition to the Bank.* 

1835. 

Palmer became unpopular, and some of the Antimasonic 
county conventions in the year 1835 refused to ratify him, 
putting Paine's name in his place. He received 16,210 votes, 
while Bradley, the Democratic nominee, received 13,254, and 
Paine, the Whig candidate, 5,435. Jennison, the Antimasonic 
candidate for lieutenant-governor, received the Whig vote 
also, making his total vote 21,316. c The Antimasonic and 
and Whig votes could not be united upon Palmer, and after 
many ballotings with no result, Silas H. Jennison became 



governor/ 



1836. 



The next year both Whigs and Antimasons united upon 
Jennison for governor and Harrison and Granger for Presi- 
dential candidates/ General Harrison's letter upon Masonry 
made it easy for the Antimasons of Vermont to become 
Whigs, now that their main issue was dead. Many of their 
prominent leaders, nevertheless, became followers of Van 
Buren/ Jennison was elected, and Harrison carried the State, 
receiving 20,990 votes to 14,039 for Van Buren. The counties 
of Bennington, Windham, Rutland, Addison, Orange, Chit- 
tenden, Orleans, Grand Isle, and Caledonia were carried by 
the Whigs. All of these but Grand Isle had been Clay or 
Antimasonic counties in 1832.^ 



"Records of Governor and Council, VIII, 270. It is probable that he followed Weed in 
this matter. 

& Boston Independent Chronicle (Clay), October 29, 1834. 

(Independent Chronicle, Boston, October 17, 21, 1835. 

rtNiles Register, XL VIII, 36. Records of Governor and Council, VIII, pp. 215, 218, 219, 
220, 245. 

e Niles Register, L, 33. Boston Independent Chronicle, November 23, 1836. 

/North Star, September 6, 1836. 

0See Vermont State Journal, November 22, 1836, for returns by counties. 



CHAPTER XX MASSACHUSETTS, 



Long before Antimasonry received a political character in 
Massachusetts its social phase was apparent there and news- 
papers had been established to propagate its principles. 
Massachusetts at this time furnished excellent soil for the 
cause. In the cities and large towns in this exceptionally 
democratic age there had been a remarkable growth of free 
thought. This was shown particular!}^ in religious matters, 
especially in the Unitarian movement. The spirit was chiefly 
felt in the more wealthy and aristocratic communities, as may 
be seen from the literature and religious controversies of the 
day. In these social centers, Masonry, a select society which 
tended to bring within its ranks many of the wealthy, educated, 
and influential men, found its strongest foothold. In these 
centers, too, the strictest Hartford convention Federalism 
had existed. In the country, on the other hand, there was 
more conservatism on religious matters and much hatred of the 
cities for their aristocratic influence, power, wealth, and cos- 
mopolitanism. These conditions, together with that natural 
reforming spirit, jealous patriotism, and prescriptive religious 
zeal of the New Englander which has so often displayed itself 
in American history, formed an excellent basis for the move- 
ment which is being described. 

On June 20, 1828, the first number of the Boston Free 
Press was issued, and soon afterwards another paper, the Bos- 
ton Antimasonic Christian Herald, was founded. This paper 
in its prospectus stated that it would u give a general view of 
the progress of evangelical religion throughout the world, 
while its columns will be open to cool and candid discussions 
of the principles of Freemasonry. " a By February, 1829, 
there were four newspapers in Boston alone devoted exclu- 
sively to the subject of Freemasonry. 6 



Antimasonic Herald, Lancaster, Pa., January 30, 1829. 
b Ibid., February 5, 1829. 

515 



516 AMEEICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

Political Antimasonry is traced back to a meeting on 
November 1, 1828, in Fall River, which led to a political 
organization in the Congressional elections of that year. 
Other meetings soon followed, one at Dedham January 1, 
1829, and one in Boston August 27, 1829. At the latter, 
what was known as the "Suffolk committee" was chosen. a 

A slight movement was noticeable also in the spring elec- 
tions of 1829, * but nothing of real importance was accom- 
plished. Every effort was made to spread the doctrines, and 
thousands of copies of the Antimasonic convention report 
upon the abduction of Morgan were distributed in these places, 
especially in Bristol County. c 

In 1830 the party showed its tirst real political strength 
and succeeded in electing three senators and from twenty to 
twenty-five members of the house, in the April election. a 

Until 1831 they seem to have had no great political differ- 
ences with the National Republicans. This year, however, 
they considered that they had been unfairly dealt with in the 
filling of vacancies in the senate. e This fact infused new life 

Se ward's report in national convention, September 11, 1830. See Boston Free Press, 
November 14, 1828, and January 9, 1829. 

&See pamphlet "Doings of the Plymouth County Antimasonic Convention," Abington, 
March 10, 1829. This convention supported Lincoln for governor. 

c Report of committee on press in Antimasonic national convention. See Albany 
Evening Journal, March 1, 1831. 

d "Proceedings of convention, May 19, 20, 1830," Boston, 1831. 

ej. Q. Adams speaks of the Masonic influence exerted and says: " In every instance 
they chose the Masonic candidate with the smaller number of primary votes in prefer- 
ence to the Antimasonic candidate with the larger number." Adams's Diary, VIII, 364. 
He speaks also of the selection of a Jackson man in place of a National Republican 
Antimason, although the latter had from three to four hundred more votes of the people. 
Ibid., 400. 

The following account of resolutions adopted by a legislative caucus of the party June 
17, 1831, illustrates their temper at this time: "Resolved, That the conduct of the legisla- 
ture of this State on the recent occasion of filling the vacancies in the senate affords the 
most conclusive evidence that Masonry is political and possesses the entire control of the 
National Republican party of this Commonwealth." "Resolved, That we cordially 
respond to the resolutions adopted by the late Antimasonic State convention in Pennsyl- 
vania; that Antimasonry is necessarily political; that with attacking Masonry at the 
ballot box where it is intrenched behind the political patronage and power of the 
Government all efforts to destroy its usurpations on the rights and privileges of the 
people must fail, and like a rebellion suppressed, must contribute to the power and vigor 
of Masonic despotism." "Resolved, That it be strongly and urgently recommended to 
the people of the different senatorial districts of this Commonwealth to nominate and 
support for senators men of known and decided Antimasonic principles." "Resolved, 
That we adopt with great pleasure the spirited resolutions of the recent Antimasonic 
State convention in New Jersey; that Freemasonry is a positive evil, inasmuch as its obli- 
gations require the performance of acts in direct violation of the constitutional authori- 
ties of our country, which seriously affect the equal rights of individuals and the civil 
and political rights of the public, for it is an alarming fact which can not be too generally 
known 'that 10,000 active, efficient men, embracing almost all in office, from the President 



THE ANT1MASONIC PARTY. 517 

into the party and in the spring they showed surprising 
strength, especially in the' Bristol district. a The convention, 
too, was well attended and enthusiastic. The Masons were 
denounced in a masterly document in which questions were 
asked for them to answer. b 

A committee was also appointed to wait upon Governor 
Lincoln and ask him his position upon the question/ Gov- 
ernor Lincoln, in his reply, stated that "Sincerely and ear- 
nestly" as he desired the "dissolution and extinction of the 
institution of Freemasonry," an institution "obnoxious to 
the spirit of republican jealousy," as "chief magistrate of the 
Commonwealth" he could not unite himself with any "com- 
bination of men in means for its suppression." d As this, of 
course, did not agree with their ideas, they tendered the 
nomination to Adams, but found that he approved of Lin- 
coln's course and could not be made to run against him/ 

In a convention in October they nominated Samuel Lathrop, 
who had been president of the senate in the previous year/ 
As in Vermont, the National Kepublicans viewed this split in 
their ranks with alarm, and did whatthe} 7 could for a while to 
unite the parties, but with little success; later they turned 
to vituperation and denunciation.^ 

In the election Lincoln polled 28,804: votes, while Lathrop 
polled 13,357, and Morton (Democrat) 10,975. Lathrop car- 
ried the counties of Franklin and Hampshire, and polled a 
large vote in Bristol. Morton carried Berkshire. h The Anti- 
do wnwards, banded together with sanctions of blood and oaths of perdition, with disci- 
pline, with concert, with signs of recognition, and ciphers of secret correspondence, 
armed with public press, and bearing in their train the artillery of slander and of ruin of 
men, are united to engross all power and influence, and to direct the resources of a great 
nation to the separate profit of their order.' " Says the Argus: "In its remarks upon this 
meeting the Boston Press says, 'We helped the Nationals last year to elect their quorum, 
and most of the very men elected by our help voted for Jackson Masons in preference to 
Antimasons. This fall we hope everything will be allowed to stand on its own bottom.'" 
Boston Free Press, June 17, quoted in Albany Argus June 24, 1831. See also Albany 
Evening Journal, June 24, 1831. 

a Albany Evening Journal, April 12, May 20, and July 1, 1831. ' 

&They were answered in December by a declaration of 1,200 Masons, which only added 
fuel to the fire. See pamphlet, "An Address to the Freemasons of Massachusetts," Wor- 
cester, 1832. See also Commercial Gazette, December 31, 1831; New England Galaxy and 
Masonic Magazine, December 31, 1831; Niles Register, XLI, 385. 

c Account of the convention, Boston Free Press, May 20, 1831. 

d Niles Register, XLI, 86. 

Adams's Diary, VIII, 414. 

/Boston Daily Advertiser, October 8, 1831. 

g See New York Whig, quoted in Albany Evening Journal, June 10, 1831. Boston Pat- 
riot, quoted in Albany Argus, Octol&r 12, 1831. Albany Argus, September 27, 1831. 

A Independent Chronicle, January 7, 1831. Boston Free Press, quoted in Albany 
Evening Journal, January 9, 1832. 



518 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

masons claimed 150 members elected to the lower house out of 
a total of 490. 

1832. 

The year 1832 was marked by several attempts to get the 
Antimasons to unite upon Clay or to make some arrangement 
like that existing in New York and Pennsylvania, but the 
New England Antimasons were of stern Puritan stock and 
were firmly imbued with the necessity of carrying out their 
fundamental principles. If the National Republicans " con- 
tended that there was no difference in principle between the 
National Republicans and Antimasons, to this the fair reply 
was that if so, the electoral vote might well be given to Mr. 
Wirt, ' whose moral character was fair, rather than to Mr. 
Clay, whose days and nights had been spent in the brothel." 
Again it was urged that as the Clay men in New York had 
" with a magnanimity beyond all praise joined the Anti- 
masons, the}^ being the stronger party in the State, it was but 
fair requital of that kind of service that the Antimasons in 
Massachusetts, they being the weaker party, should unite with 
the Nationals. This overture was indignantly rejected * * * 
the utmost favor they would grant was the privilege of voting 
for the Antimasonic ticket, with an assurance that that ticket 
' will on no occasion support an adhering Mason.' " b 

The Antimasonic convention met at Worcester September 5 
and nominated Samuel Lathrop for governor and Timothy 
Fuller for lieutenant-governor/ They organized an electoral 
ticket pledged to vote for Wirt and Ellmaker, and adopted 
an address in which they said they would not vote for Clay 
because "no public man in the nation [has] placed himself so 
directly in opposition to the fundamental principles of Anti- 
masonry as he has done * * * however eminent as a states- 
man [he] is so far behind the ordinary standard of morals that 
there is no intimation of virtuous example in his private life." 6 * 

a New York Whig, in Albany Evening Journal, November 28, 1831. See also Albany 
Evening Journal, November 19, December 2, 1831, and Albany Argus, November 21, 1831. 

&See letter from Springfield, Mass., October 16, 1832, in Albany Argus, October 25, 1832. 
For other evidences of desire to unite, see Boston Independent Chronicle (Clay), August 
25, 1832. 

c Fuller is said to be the author of the pamphlet in which Mr. Clay was charged with 
"spending his nights at the gaming table and in the revels of the brothel." Adams was 
not present at the convention, and the National Republicans intimated that he was not 
in favor of the movement. John Bailey, however, wrote a letter in which he explained 
that the reason why he did not attend was that he had made a rule to take no part in 
the pending Presidential election. Independent Chronicle, September 12, 19, 1832. 

d Proceedings of the Antimasonic convention, Boston, 1832. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 519 

The Boston Free Press said: 

Any man who was in that assembly and who witnessed the thrilling 
response when * * * the President, in a speech declared that Henry 
Clay, by his own acts had severed forever the ties w r hich once bound the 
Antimasons of New England to him, and might as soon hope to constrain 
them to vote to establish a monarchy as to vote to sustain Masonry through 
Henry Clay," would not doubt the intention of the party to oppose him 
in New England. 

Iii the election Lincoln received 33,946 votes, Morton 15,197, 
and Lathrop 14,755. Lathrop again carried Hampshire. The 
votes for the national candidates were approximately the same 
as those given for governor. 6 

1833. 

The meeting of the legislature at the beginning of this 
year shows in many ways the extreme hatred that the National 
Republicans bore toward the Antimasons for the part they had 
taken in the State and national election. Among these evi- 
dences of hatred may be cited various hostile acts shown in 
the selection of the council, opposition to the petition to do 
away with the grand lodge, and a gerrymander of Antima- 
sonic districts of the State/ 

The Antimasonic State convention was held in Boston on 
September 4. In the call made by the State committee was a 
curious circular, in which it was requested that the delegates 
" furnish the State committee * * * a correct list of 
adhering Masons in their towns, their places of business and 
occupations, * * * the several offices each have held or 
now hold; their general cnaracter for morals, temperance, 
charity, and [knowledge of] science, especially geometry \ a 
what number of indigent persons, widows, and orphans, are 
known to have been relieved in their town, and to what 

Rochester Republican, quoted in Albany Argus, October 15, 1832. 

b Boston Independent Chronicle, November 14, 17, 21, 24, December 1, 1832; January 5, 
1833. Albany Argus, November 12, 26, 1832. Boston Columbian Sentinel, November 20, 
1832. Niles Register, XLIII, 213. 

c Adams's Diary, IX, 41. See also "Address to the People " on the political influence of 
Freemasonry, Boston, 1833. The county of Bristol as a congressional district was divided. 
It had 49,592 inhabitants, while 47,700 was the ratio. The Antimasons of New Bedford 
and Fairhaven were neutralized by adding Nantucket and Barnstable. There was also 
gerrymandering in Franklin and Norfolk. The Norfolk district was made to extend 
nearly from Buzzards Bay to Boston. 

dThe Masons were suppose J. to use a great deal of geometry in their ceremonies. 



520 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

amount, what good or bad acts are known to have been done 
by Freemasons in their towns, and whether Freemasonry has 
tended to restrain or encourage the commission of crime. " a 

As it was well known that Adams did not want the nomi- 
nation, and that because of his radical position toward the 
Masonic order there was less chance for the National Repub- 
licans to unite upon him, the nomination was offered to 
Edward Everett and then to John Bailey. As both of these 
gentlemen declined, it was offered to Adams. The letter 
addressed to him said that "No citizen * * * is at lib- 
erty * * * to refuse * * especially where the 
citizen so nominated is best qualified to concentrate public 
sentiment in favor of those principles, and to heal the divi- 
sions of part}^." 6 He very reluctantly accepted/ stating that 
he did so ; ' with a fervent prayer to the Ruler of the Universe 
that the voice of the people of the State should concur with 
yours [that] the final result may be to heal the division of 
party, to promote the harmony of the Union, and to maintain 
the freedom of industry and the purity of the Constitution."' 7 

In preparing for the election of this year it soon became 
evident to the National Republicans that Lincoln could not be 
run again, as a combination of both opposing parties might 
defeat him/ There were, however, two men who if nomi- 
nated by the National Republicans would unite the whole party. 
One was Adams, who had already been nominated by the 
Antimasons, and the other Edward Everett. Both were sin- 
cere Antimasons. Everett had never declared his belief in 
political Antimasonry , and therefore was not so likely to unite 
the two parties, while he was Antimasonic enough to be 
looked upon with suspicion and dislike b}^ the Masons.-'' 
Adams, on the other hand, although he had supported Lin- 
coln in the last election, had written a letter to a gentleman in 
Rhode Island, in which he advocated the election of such 
members to the legislature of that State as should vote for 

a Albany Argus, August 30, 1833. 

b Proceedings Massachusetts Antimasonic Convention, September 11, 12, 13, 1833: Boston, 
3833. Independent Chronicle, September 14, 18, 1833. 

c Adams's Diary, IX, 6. See also ibid., p. 25. "The controversy seems destined to 
destroy the comforts and tranquillity of my last days, and to bring my life to close iu 
hopeless conflict with the world." 

d Albany Argus, September 12, 1833. See also ibid., September 16, 18, 1833. 

e Adams's Diary, IX, 45. See also ibid., p. 25, where Lincoln attributes to Adams's 
publications on Masonry the falling off in his support. 

/Independent Chronicle, May 15, July 27, 1833. 



THE ANTIMASIXNTC PARTY. 521 

the repeal of the Masonic charters." He was well known as 
one of the most influential opponents of Masonry on social 
and religious grounds in the country. He was, therefore, 
opposed by all the Masonic power in the National Republican 
party and by Lincoln and his friends. On the other hand, he 
had behind him the powerful support of Daniel Webster and 
his friends. 6 

As the convention drew near it was apparent that Boston 
and the Masons would do their best to oppose him, and so 
successful were their efforts that the man once President of 
the United States was put aside, and John' Davis was nomi- 
nated instead. d 

The campaign created considerable interest and animosit3 T . 
The part that Boston and Worcester Masons had played in 
defeating the nomination of Adams, together with the hatred 
of the city by the countiy districts where Antimasonry was 
strong, gave the Antimasons a greater enthusiasm, perhaps, 
than they had before possessed/ Mr. Davis, however, ob- 
tained a plurality, receiving 25,149 votes, while Adams re- 
ceived about 18,274; Morton, 15,493; and Allen (Working- 
men), 3,459. Adams carried Norfolk, Bristol, Franklin, 
Middlesex, and Plymouth/ The election went to the legisla- 

a Independent Chronicle, October 2, September 28, 1833. He was not prescriptive, 
however. See letter to Davis, Niles's Register, XLV, 86; Adams's Diary, VIII, pp. 426, 
428. His opinion of the order is characteristic : " It is a matter of curious speculation 
how such degrading forms, such execrable oaths, and such cannibal penalties should 
have been submitted to by wise, spirited, and virtuous men. It is humiliating to the 
human character." 

b Webster had been nominated on January 10, 1833, for President by the Antimasons 
of the legislature. 

c Adams's Diary, IX, 16. "The National Republicans of Boston have elected 63 dele- 
gates to the Worcester convention, 35 of whom are Freemasons." 

d Independent Chronicle, October 19, 1833. The address of the convention condemned 
Antimasonry. Adams says one of the leaders against him was William Sullivan, of 
whom he remarks: "Sullivan has the double venom of Hartford convention Federalism 
and of spurious masonry in his blood." Adams's Diary, IX, pp. 20,24. 

eThis spirit is evident in the proceedings of the convention, where the "aristocracy of 
the cities" and the "monarchial" tendencies of the Masons were harped upon. Davis 
was accused of being the tool of the manufacturers. General Dearborn, who was run- 
ning for Congress, was called "the most eloquent and grandiloquent representative of 
the Boston aristocracy." 

See Independent Chronicle, August 16, November 9, 1833, quotations from Boston Advo- 
cate. See, also, Proceedings of Convention, Boston, 1833. S. D. Green was editor of the 
Advocate. He had been a member of the same lodge with Morgan, and had lectured on 
Masonry around the country. His adventures are set forth in his book called the 
"Broken Seal." His paper constantly harped on "Boston aristocracy," and later fol- 
lowed Richard Rush into the Democratic ranks. Adams's Diary, IX, 48. 

/Independent Chronicle, November 13, 15, 16, 20, 27, December 21, 1833. Albany Argus, 
November 12, 20, 1833. Albany Evening Journal, November 15, 1833. 



522 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

ture, whereupon Mr. Adams withdrew from the contest in 
order to unite the two parties. a 

1834. 

The National Republicans in the legislature carried out their 
policy of filling the senatorial vacancies with members of 
their own party without reference to the actual votes of the 
people.* They were well paid for this partisanship, however, 
when it was seen that a resolution on the removal of the de- 
posits could not be forced through without the aid of the 
Antimasons. Through the influence of Adams, who saw the 
danger of the Antimasons going over to the Democrats, as 
they did in Rhode Island, if the National Republican policy 
was kept up, c efforts were made to conciliate them. Accord- 
ingly a bill to enlarge the powers of the grand lodge in order 
that a building which they were erecting in Boston could be 
completed was defeated. This led to the surrender of the act 
of incorporation.^ 

In response to many petitions, a bill was introduced against 
extra judicial oaths. It produced a great debate, the house on 
the whole favored it and the senate opposed it. It was finally 
passed by leaving out the word "masonic" and softening its. 
provisions so as to make them very easy to evade/ An 
investigation into Freemasonry was also begun, the house, as 
before, favoring it and the senate opposing it. The house 
went so far as to favor giving the committee on the matter 
full power to send for persons and papers, but this was killed 
in the senate, and consequently the investigation amounted to 
nothing, f 

a Adams's Diary, IX, 71. Independent Chronicle, January 11, 1834. 

b They had a majority over the other two parties. Niles Register, XLV, 330, says there 
were 297 National Republicans, 135 Antimasons, and 126 Jackson men in the lower house. 
The Independent Chronicle, January 4, 1834, says that in all but two cases the Democrats 
and Antimasons combined. See also Niles Register, XLVII, 182. Adams calls the 
National Republican party a " Union of federalism and Freemasonry." Adams's Diary, 
IX, pp. 17,70. 

c Adams's Diary, pp. 9,65,66,103. 

(i Niles Register, XLV, 331. Independent Chronicle, January 4, 1834. They had already 
tried several times to have their power increased. They did not dissolve their organiza- 
tion, although a large part of them in Worcester County especially resolved that the so- 
ciety was unnecessary, and disbanded. Niles Register, XLVI, 447. Independent Chron- 
icle, August 23, October 1, 1834. 

e Independent Chronicle, January 29, February 1, March 13. A great deal of the debate 
was caused by the Boston Masonic Mirror's statement that it would not harm Masonry. 

/See Independent Chronicle, January 31, February 5, 22, April 4, 1834. See also pamph- 
let, "An Investigation into Freemasonry," printed by order of the house of representa- 
tives, Boston, 1834. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 523 

These useless measures did a great deal to drive the more 
radical Antimasons away from the Whig party, then forming, 
and to turn them toward the Democrats. It was only through 
the efforts of Adams, Everett, and Webster that they were 
kept in the party at all. a These gentlemen tried to heal the 
split by every means in their power. In declining to be a 
candidate for United States Senator, Adams had stated that 
the Antimasonic party was in hopeless minority, and as they 
had the same policy as the National Republicans they should 
unite with them. 6 

Early in the j r ear the Antimasons addressed a letter to Davis, 
questioning him as to his position on the matter of Masonry. 
His reply did not satisfy them, although he greatly desired 
peace and was supported by Adams/ The Whig convention 
made no overtures, but nominated Davis and Armstrong. d 

The Antimasonic convention was ruled by the radicals, and 
its proceedings were decidedly interesting. Mr. Hallett, one 
of the members, spoke of the efforts at conciliation made by 
some of the party, and advocated an independent position. 
1 n the course of his remarks he said : 

Who is to blame, then, if this party now resolve to depend on their own 
resources; to select able and sound and efficient candidates? If coming as 
they do from the people, they take their candidates, not from the exclu- 
sive circle of aristocracy, but from the people? Look around, sir, in this 
assembly. Do you find great wealth or great individual pretensions here? 
No, sir. You see the best samples that the enlightened towns of this 
Commonwealth can furnish of their substantial, intelligent, moral yeo- 
manry, mechanics, and workingmen, * * * men of moral courage, 
the middling interest of the Commonwealth to whom alone, in these de- 
generate days our country can ever look for the exercise of that moral 
courage which achieved her independence. 

n Adams's Diary, IX, pp. 65, 170. Independent Chronicle, November 8, 1834. The plan 
of the radicals was to unite upon Morton. 

& Vermont State Journal, January 20, 1834. 

"Adams's Diary, IX, 184. For Davis* s letter, see Niles Register, XLVI, 433. 

fi Independent Chronicle, August 23, 1834. ^ 

e Substantially the same language was used in the convention of 1831. See Albany 
Evening Journal, May 23, 1831. As to the nomination of Davis in the previous year it 
was said: " It was pretended at the time by some of the Masonic party that the Antima- 
sonry of Mr. Adams was not so serious an objection as was his former desertion of the 
Federal party and his known hostility to the men and measures of the Hartford conven- 
tion. To obviate this pretended or real objection to the democracy of Mr. Adams, it was 
well known to the committee of the Worcester convention, who pushed Mr. Davis into 
the field, that if the name of Edward Everett were presented, Mr. Adams would use his 
influence with those who nominated him to permit him to withdraw in order to promote 
a concentration of action in the election of Mr. Everett; * * * but the name of Ed- 
ward Everett was received by the Masonic convention at Worcester with scarcely less 
scorn than that of Mr. Adams although Mr. Everett never had and never has in any 



524 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

As neither Adams nor Everett permitted their names to be 
used, John Bailey was nominated for governor. a 

The party, however, was unsuccessful. Davis received 
43,757 votes, Morton 18,683, Bailey, 10,160, Allen 166.* 

1835. 

The beginning of the year 1835 saw Antimasonry very fee- 
ble in Massachusetts. The Whigs showed their hatred of the 
party by electing John Davis senator over Adams/ Never- 

way detached himself from the National Republican party, but uniformly supported its 
most ultra measures in State or nation, with the bare exception of the support of Free- 
masonry." Proceedings of convention. 

Proceedings of convention. Bailey was a graduate of Brown University. He was a 
tariff man in 1824. He attacked Otis in 1820 for his defense of the Hartford convention. 
In 1831 he was a senator from Norfolk, and again in 1833. As he was not a lawyer it 
was said: "His views are not narrowed down by a profession which in modern times is 
almost always arrayed on the side of wealth and aristocracy against the people." The 
convention report is full of such expressions, directed against " Ultra Federalists," "aris- 
tocrats," "lawyers," etc. Heman Lincoln was nominated for lieutenant-governor, but 
declined, and George Odiorne, of Boston, was substituted. A convention ratifying the 
choice of Bailey was held in Norfolk. This convention said that "John Davis * * * 
is * * * from the manner in which he was forced into office, so completely under the 
control of ultra aristocracy, the ultra Federalism, and the ultra Freemasonry of Boston 
and Worcester [Worcester had been called the "very throne of Masonry in the Common- 
wealth " by Adams in 1833. See Adams's letter to the legislature of Massachusetts, Jan- 
uary 1, 1833.] * * * that he could not, if he would, act for the people and with the 
people, * * * whereas John Bailey * * * must look for support to the body of 
the people, the middle interest, the yeomanry of the country, and not to the combined 
wealth of the great cities and towns. * * * [As] farmers, mechanics, and workingmen, 
while we respect highly talented and distinguished men, and rejoice to do them honor 
wherever we find them acting honestly as friends of the people and not as instruments 
of aristocracy, and freemasonry, we nevertheless are pained to see the tendency in this 
country of distinguished men to combine with wealth and aristocracy against the popular 
will." See proceedings of Antimasonic Republican Delegates to convention for the county 
of Norfolk, held in Dedham, the 20th of October, 1834. The Suffolk meeting, November 3, 
1834, resolved: "That too much influence has been unconsciously exerted over the legis- 
lature of the State by means of the social influence of the aristocracy of Boston," etc. 
An editorial in the Boston Advocate, November 4, 1834, says: "Will they [the people] 
exercise their rights as legislators for their own best interests, or will they send men to 
the legislature merely for the benefit of the great capitalists of Boston and Lowell? 
* * * Shall Boston make the laws for the State; * * * shall lawyers fix the statutes 
to their liking? * * * The Whig party * * * [being] entirely under the control of 
the aristocracy * * * laws * * * will be framed * * * to suit especially, mo- 
nopolists, men of large capital, and lawyers. * * * Boston will strive to send a regi- 
ment of Whigs, all in the interests of monopolists. The country must send her full com- 
plement of sound and firm men to meet this army and watch their movements." 

The State convention adopted a resolution which has great significance when the 
future is considered. It was resolved "that means ought to be taken to present memo- 
rials to Congress from the people, praying for measures to insure a more thorough quali- 
fication of adult foreigners previous to their full admission to the powers of an Ameri- 
can citizen, and for a provision extending the renunciation of oaths and foreign allegiance 
to a like renunciation of all oaths to secret societies.' 

b Independent Chronicle, November 12, 15, 19, December 27, 1834; January 14, 1835. 
Vermont State Journal, March 10, 22, 1834. 

c-Niles s Register, XLV11, 387. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 525 

theless, with the Presidential contest coming on, something 
had to be done to unite the parties. This union^ was brought 
about by the nomination of Edward Everett by the Whigs. 
Such a move could not but be approved by the great mass of 
the Antimasons, and consequently the choice was ratified in 
their convention. a Only a few radical Masons and Antimasons 
refused to concur in these proceedings. b The election resulted 
in an overwhelming victory for Everett/ 

As the Presidential election was approaching the Antima- 
sonic State convention resolved to have a national convention/ 
but as no other States agreed the matter was dropped. How- 
ever, a portion of the party in the legislature met and nomi- 
nated Webster and Granger/ 

The Antimasons of Massachusetts, with the exception of a 
few radicals, were complete^ united with the Whig party in 
the election of 1836. ^ 

a Independent Chronicle, February 28, 1835. The Whigs of the legislature put his 
name in nomination. On October 11, 1835, the Antimasons ratified the choice, but sub- 
stituted William Foster instead of Armstrong for lieutenant-governor. Proceedings 
of convention. 

b Armstrong was dissatisfied because Webster, Everett, and Davis had shut him out, 
and did not accept the nomination but ran himself. (Adams's Diary, IX, pp. 242, 243.) 
For other discontent see Independent Chronicle, October 17, 1835. 

c Independent Chronicle, November 11, 14, 18, 1835. 

d Pennsylvania Intelligencer, March 5, 1835. 

e " Resolutions adopted by Antimasonic members of the legislature opposed to the 
nomination of Van Buren and Johnson," March 9, 1836. See also Vermont State Journal, 
March 22, 1836. 

/Some of the party worked for Morton, as there was still great hatred of the " aristo- 
cratic Whigs." Independent Chronicle, October 28, 31, 1835. Adams's Diary, IX, 313. 



CHAPTER XXL OHIO, 



The Western Reserve of Ohio, settled by a New England 
population and connected directly with the Antimasonic line 
of counties which led through Erie County, Pennsylvania, 
into the "infected district" of New York, formed good soil 
for Antimasonic doctrines. These counties were also thor- 
ough National Republican counties and thus shared the fate 
of that party. a 

Weed says that in 1828 his paper was ordered from all 
parts of this district. In his report upon the press in the 
Antimasonic convention of 1830, Seward traced the be- 
ginnings of the agitation in the State to the fact that an 
"editor fourteen months ago, by invitation, went with only 
his printing materials from the city of New York, and com- 
menced an Antimasonic paper in Portage County. " b Another 
account makes Ashtabula the first county in the State to 
accept the doctrines/ Ity September, 1830, Antimasonic 
presses had been established in Adams, Knox, Tuscarawas, 
Harrison, Wayne, Richland, Huron, Portage, Geauga, and 
Ashtabula.^ 

Notwithstanding the introduction of the issue into poli- 
tics in 1829, yet there seems to have been very little polit- 
ical bitterness such as marked the cause of Antimasonry in 
other States. In fact it is extremely hard to tell the Anti- 
masonic candidates for the legislature from the National 
Republican. In spite of the great canal system of the State, 
in politics Ohio contrasted strongly with New York and Penn- 
sylvania, and was more like Vermont. There were no great 

a In 1828 Jackson carried the State, but the chief support of Adams came from this 
northern tier of counties. Pennsylvania Reporter, November 11, 1828; Ohio Sentinel, 
Columbus, November 15, 1828. The State, however, elected a National Republican gov- 
ernor by a majority of 2,120. See Ohio State Journal, December 4, 6, 10, 18, 1828. 

& Albany Evening Journal, March 1, 1831. 

cOhio Star, quoted in Albany Evening Journal, October 28, 1831. 

d Seward' s report on the press, September 11, 1830. 

526 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 527 

party questions apparently and no fierce or bitter contentions 
over sectional matters, such as in Pennsylvania. Each mem- 
ber of the legislature seems to have voted as a general thing 
independently of party issues. Questions such as roads, 
canals, and other matters of " purely legislative character 
appear to have been decided solely on their own merits, with- 
out any reference to the political predilections of the mem- 
bers with whom they originated. " rt In all the course of Anti- 
masonry in Ohio, there were no controversies upon the subject 
such as rent the other States. 

In 1830 a convention of 30 delegates from 12 counties was 
held at Canton, Ohio, on July 21. It elected delegates to the 
national convention, but outside of that does not seem to have 
been political in its character. 6 The party did not grow to 
any extent, and in 1831 it had but 15 members in both houses 
together/ 

The nomination of Wirt was received without any great 
bitterness by the National Republicans. It was said " that 
aside from our dislike to the party grounds upon which he 
was nominated, and the decided preferences which we have 
for another, we feel no objection to his elevation to the Presi- 
dency. " rf The truth was that the Clay leaders saw that the 
only hope for their party in Ohio was some kind of a compro- 
mise with the Antimasons. If the party split, the case was 
hopeless. Said a Clay paper of the time: 

We must examine our position, and if it promise nothing but defeat, we 
should agree to change it. If we do not, but plunge on in reckless 

and hopeless desperation, defeat is an inevitable consequence. * * * If 
we are so devoted to one man that, if he can not succeed, we care not who 
does, then, indeed, we ought not to succeed. * * * If petty personal 
predilections control us, or "coalition" terrify us, the case is hopeless 
utterly, irretrievably hopeless; it is consummate folly to proceed in the 
contest. * 

"Ohio State Journal (Clay), February 19, 1829. 

/> Ohio State Journal, August 5, 1830. This year the National Republicans again elected 
their candidate, Duncan McArthur, by about 1,000 votes. Ohio State Journal, October 28, 
November 4, 1830. 

<* Hamilton (Ohio) Telegraph, quoted in Albany Argus, December 9, 1831. It is probable 
that many of these were indistinguishable from the Clay members. The Moral Envoy, 
November 10, 1830, an Antimasonic paper, said that in that year members were elected 
from Portage, Ashtabula, Geauga, and Huron counties. The Albany Evening Journal 
claimed Senator Thomas Irwin as an Antimason. Albany Evening Journal, February 28, 
1831. Jonathan Sloan, elected from the Fifteenth district (Lorain, Cuyahoga, Portage, and 
Medina), in the northeast, was probably an Antimason. Adams, Diary, IX, 114. 

a Hamilton Intelligencer (Clay), November 19, 1831. 

e Cincinnati Gazette (Clay), May 2, 1832, quoted in Columbus Sentinel, May 31, 1832. 



528 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

The Antimasonic convention which met on June 12, 1832, 
at Columbus, after tendering the nomination to several gen- 
tlemen who, although Antimasons, refused to split the opposi- 
tion to Jackson, finally chose Darius Lyman, of Portage 
County, previously a member of the senate from that district, 
and pledged an electoral ticket to Wirt and Ellmaker/' 

The nomination was, however, not immediately concurred 
in by the Clay party, who nominated Governor Me Arthur. 
That gentleman, however, declined when it became evident 
that the lack of unity would defeat him. He gave the follow- 
ing reason for his actions: 

With a view of uniting all who are opposed to the reelection of General 
Jackson, upon one candidate for the office of governor and also upon an 
electoral ticket for President and Vice-President, and with the hope of 
accomplishing so desirable an object I have come to the determination to 
have my name withdrawn from the list of candidates for that office at the 
ensuing election. 6 

Immediately after the above announcement the papers 
which had been warmly supporting McArthur and abusing 
the Antimasons turned about and praised the nomination of 
Lyman upon the ground of expediency and of the necessity 
of opposing Jackson successfully/' The union of the part'es, 
however, came too late to quiet all dissensions, and in many 
counties it was hardly known at all. This was true especially 
in the southern counties, and led directly to Ly man's defeat. 
Lucas, the Democratic nominee, received about 8,060 major- 
ity. Lyman polled his strongest vote in the northern tier of 
counties. d 

The Antimasonic State committee, immediately after the 
election, issued an address recommending the abandonment of 

Ohio State Journal, June 23, 1832. See also Albany Argus, June 27, 28, 1832. Colum- 
bus Sentinel, June 21, 1832. National Historian, St. Clairsville, July 14, 1832. 

ft Ohio State Journal, September 15, 1832. See also Albany Evening Journal, Septem- 
ber 24, 1832. 

< Said one of these papers: " Darius Lyman * * * is a gentleman of unapproachable 
character, he is in favor of the Constitution, the independence of the judiciary and the 
supremacy of the law. He is in principle a National Republican. * * * We are op- 
posed to political Antimasonry, but when we have to choose between a man whose 
principles we oppose and whose moral character is disreputable; and one who stands high 
for his talents and integrity and whose politics are National Republican, we can not 
hesitate." Hamilton Intelligencer, September 27, 1832. For similar expressions, see Ohio 
State Journal, September 29, 1832. 

d Columbus Sentinel, October 25, 1832. See also Albany Argus, October 18, 20, 22, No- 
vember 2, 1832; New York Standard, October 17, 1832; Albany Evening Journal, October 
29, 1832; National Historian, St. Clairsville, October 27, 1832. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 



529 



the Antimasonic electoral ticket and the support of the Clay 
electoral ticket, with the idea that if Wirt had the greater 
number of votes throughout the country the ticket would be 
thrown for him in fact, they proposed somewhat the same 
arrangement as in New York." This brought a storm of pro- 
test from the radical Antimasons throughout the State, and 
led to dissentions and to the dividing of the opposition to 
Jackson, 6 although the National Republican papers tried to 
keep before the minds of the Antimasons that it was a mu- 




Shaded portions represent the strongholds of political Antimasonry. 

tual ticket, which would be given to the highest number of 
votes/ The coalition was unsuccessful, as Jackson received 
4,707 votes for a majority. There were only about 500 votes 
given to Wirt independently in the Stated It is entirely 
probable that the Antimasons of Ohio voted with a fair de- 

n See Columbus Emigrant Extra, quoted in Albany Argus November 2, 1832. See also 
Albany Argus, October 26, 1832; Hamilton Intelligencer, October 20, 1832; Ohio Sentinel, 
October 25, 1832; Niles' Register, XLIII, 138. 

& Albany Argus, November 1, 2, 1832; Boston Columbian Sentinel, November 26, 1832. 
Protests "condemning any bargain" had been made before the union took place. See 
National Historian, October 13, 1832, report of Uniontown, Belmont County, Antimasonic 
meeting. 

<- Ohio State Journal, October 27, 1832. 

d Ohio State Journal, November 17, 1832; Columbus Monitor Extra, quoted in Albany 
Argus, November 17, 1832. 

H. Doc. 461, pt 1 34 



530 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

gree of enthusiasm for the CJay electoral ticket. They were 
accused of treachery by the National Republicans throughout 
the country, but the Ohio Clay papers did not support this 
charge and praised them for their zeal. a 

This election was the deathblow to Antimasonry in Ohio 
and although conventions were held after this b and petitions 
were sent to the legislature constantly Apolitical Antimasonry 
united in 1834 with the new Whig movement in Ohio which 
arose over the opposition to the nomination of Van Buren.^ 
The Antimasonic cause never had great strength in Ohio 
and is chiefty important for its possibilities to the party if it 
had developed. The Antimasonic leaders and newspapers of 
the East gave much attention to it, and as we shall see the 
party sought a president from the State in the person of Judge 
McLean/ 

a Ohio State Journal, November 24, 1832. 

b Pennsylvania Telegraph, March 12, 1834; Pennsylvania Intelligencer, November 26, 
1834. 

c Ohio Statesman and Annals of Progress, Columbus, 1899, p. 166. 
dOhio State Journal, October 25, 1834. 
For other States see the appendix. 



CHAPTER XXII ANTIMASONRY IN NATIONAL POLITICS. 



As early as 1827 the leaders of the party in New York had 
already formed the plan of a great national organization, and 
efforts were made to ascertain the position of Henry Clay upon 
the question of Masonry, in view of making him a possible 
candidate. a 

In 1828, as we have already seen, Adams made himself the 
national leader of Antimasonry by his letter upon that subject 
during the campaign. 6 He, however, did not suit the pur- 
poses of the leaders; the " cause needed a new name not before 
identified with its history. * * * It felt that it could 
derive no strength or prestige from the nomination of one of 
its well known and practiced leaders. " c Then, too, he was 
unpopular in New York and his nomination would hurt the 
cause there. d 

It was to Henry Clay, therefore, that the party turned for 
a leader who would unite all the elements of opposition to 
Jackson; but, unfortunately, Clay was a Mason. As he was 
known to be but half-hearted in his adherence to the order 
every sort of pressure was brought to bear to make him re- 
nounce it, or at least show that he was in sympathy with 
political Antimasonry/ But the actions of the Antimasons 

Weed, Autobiography, I, 350. 

ft Albany Argus, August 6, 26. 1828. 

<-Seward, Autobiography, I, 90. 

rfSeward to Weed, September 14, 1831. Weed, Autobiography, I, 41. 

Clay's Correspondence, 304, January 23, 1831. "I have been urged, entreated, im- 
portuned, to make some declaration short of renunciation of Masonry, which would 
satisfy the Antis. But I have hitherto declined all interference on that subject. While 
I do not, and never did care about Masonry, I shall abstain from making myself any 
party to that strife. I tell them that Masonry and Antimasory has legitimately in my 
opinion nothing to do with politics; that I never acted, in public or private life, under 
any Masonic influence: that I have long since ceased to be a member of any lodge; that 
I voted for Mr. Adams, no Mason, against General Jackson, a Mason." See letter to Anti 
masons in Niles's Register, XLI, 260, in which he said that to use the power of Govern- 
ment to " abolish or advance the interest of Masonry or Antimasonry * * * would 
be an act of usurpation or tyranny." 

531 



532 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

of New York, as reported throughout the country/' as well 
as the inconsistency of renouncing Masonry for merely politi- 
cal purposes, led him to "disclaim and repudiate the party." 6 
This was a hard blow to Weed and his fellow-politicians, who 
had carefully worked the matter up for some time under try- 
ing criticism and adverse circumstances. c 

The Antimasons "generally sympathized with Mr. Clay 
upon questions of Government policy, and especially in regard 
to the question of protecting American industries. " rf So anx- 
ious, indeed, were they to secure Clay as a leader that the 
Antimasonic papers industriously tried to clear away and 
explain the Masonic stain. It was said that Clay looked upon 
Masonry as a "mere bauble." He had but to utter the 
slightest platitudes (as was afterwards the case with Wirt) to 
become the candidate of the party. Said the Antimasonic 
Providence American: 

We care not about his renouncing Masonry, but he should let us know 
that he is bound by no oaths and no ties that have not for their [aim] his 
country's welfare, his whole country's good. Another year will not pass 
before we shall see this, or Henry Clay is not the ' ' frank and peerless 
man" he has ever shown himself. e 

Hopeless of securing Cla} 7 , the leaders looked around for a 
candidate who would in some way be in sympathy with their 
doctrines and at the same time be popular in the three great 
States of New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Calhoun was 
considered, because, as Seward said, "Calhoun, more than any 
other of the candidates, talks Antimasonry,"/ but he was an 
impossibility, because "the stain of nullification" was "too 

a Weed, Autobiography, I, 353. 

&Ibid. 

c The action of the Clay Masons in New York in the election of 1830 aroused the indig- 
nation of many of the Antimasons and made it exceedingly hard to put his name for- 
ward. The executive committee of the Antimasonic party in New York wrote to him, 
November 24, 1830, and told him they could "not directly support him because of the 
election of 1830." Clay's Correspondence, 290. 

dWeed, Autobiography, I, 350. See also Clay's Correspondence, 309. Independent 
Chronicle, September 12, 22, 1832. This was true everywhere, except among some of the 
Germans of Pennsylvania. 

Albany Evening Journal, June 6, 1831. See also Ibid., August 3, 1831, and the account 
of the Antimasonic and National Republican meeting at Abingdon, Mass., July 4, 1832. 
for similar expressions. Certificates, probably false, were made to show that he had 
demitted. Niles Register, XLI, 346. Rush offered his services to Clay, if he would con- 
ciliate the Antimasons. Clay's Correspondence. 299. 

/Seward, Autobiography, I, 184. He did not believe in proscription, however. Cal- 
houn's Correspondence, Manuscripts Commission, 1900, pp. 293, 296. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 533 

black upon his record. 7 '" Richard Rush was then thought of, 
but he soon made it known that he should decline if offered 
the nomination. 6 

Negotiations were next opened with McLean, of Ohio. Ohio 
seemed to furnish good ground for the Antimasonic spirit, 
because of its large National Republican New England popula- 
tion, and it was hoped that if McLean was nominated the State 
would become Antimasonic. The party would then, it was 
thought., control the three great States. c McLean was com- 
municated with and gave his consent on condition that no 
other candidate should be put forward against Jackson. ^ 
New England, however, strongly favored Adams and was 
jealous of McLean, because it was thought that he was "a 
protege" of Calhoun's, a feeling which was thought by Seward 
to have been " grounded upon conversation with Mr. Adams 
regarding McLean. " e Seward went to Boston to patch the 
matter up, and found Adams unwilling to run, although, if 
nominated, he would not decline. He did not wish to disrupt 
the National Republican party, and regarded "a harmonious 
choice at Baltimore" as " vastly more important than a per- 
sonal question."/ 

Before the convention assembled it became known that Clay 
would accept a nomination from the National Republicans. 
This brought a letter from McLean declining the nomination. d 
The party was thus left without a candidate when the conven- 
tion opened. However, Weed, accompanied by John C. 
Spencer, Albert H. Tracy, of New York, and Dr. Abner 
Phillips, of Boston, called upon William Wirt and induced 
him to become a candidate/ although he was a Mason and had 
never renounced the order. He was, ^nevertheless, nominated. h 

aSeward, Autobiography, I, 184. Says Seward, "the free, the cold, clear, intelligent 
North is the field for the growth of our cause. Let us not jeapordize it by transferring 
its main stalk into South Carolina sands. The great States which we need, and must 
combine, are Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York. In these Calhoun is lost." Ibid., 1, 195. 

b Adams's Diary, VIII, 403. 

<? Seward, Autobiography, I, 195. 

rfWeed, Autobiography, I, 389. 

eWeed, Autobiography, II, 41. 

/Ibid. See, also, Seward, Autobiography, I, pp. 198, 206. 

(/Weed, Autobiography, I, pp. 390, 391. I have not included an extended account of 
the convention, because the proceedings throw no new light upon the subject. The 
proceedings contain the average Antimasonic speeches and are of little significance. 

A Stevens opposed his nomination to the last moment, thinking that if the nomination 
was forced upon McLean he would accept. Seward. Autobiography, I, 90. 



534 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

His letter of acceptance states his ideas upon the subject. 
It may be called a practical renunciation of Masonry, although 
he nowhere announces the fact explicitly, nor does he con- 
demn and denounce the order. .In fact, his letter makes light 
of the whole affair, and is in astonishing contradiction to the 
supposedly proscriptive tendencies of the movement. He 
does not say that no Mason should be elected to office. In 
short, he says nothing which could be objected to by the 
Masons of the National Republican party. This remarkable 
document said, in substance: 

I have repeatedly and continually, both in conversation and letters of 
friendship, spoken of Masonry and Antimasonry as a fitter subject for 
farce than tragedy and have been grieved at seeing some of my friends 
involved in what appeared to me such a wild and bitter and unjust perse- 
cution against so harmless an institution as Free Masonry. 

He then acknowledged that he had received a sudden change 
of ideas upon the subject, and did find some harm in the action 
of some of the overzealous members of the order. As to 
Antimasonry he said: 

I had supposed that the very principles of your union was a war of 
indiscriminate proscription against all persons throughout the United 
States who had ever before borne the name of a Mason; that you would 
put in nomination no person who had ever been a Mason himself, and who 
would not moreover pledge himself to become party to such a war of indis- 
criminate extermination, and wield the appointing power of the office 
under your dictation; who would not, in short, become the President of 
your party instead of being the President of the United States. I am 
happy to find that this is an error; * * * I am relieved from both 
these apprehensions by learning since your assemblage here that you have 
no other object in view than, in effect, to assert the supremacy of the 
laws of the land; that you seek to disturb no portion of the peaceable and 
virtuous citizens of our country. 

Such equivocation and so entire a reversal of all they had 
been fighting for disgusted the more earnest Antimasons and 
it was held by many that from the principles he avowed he 
4 'had no claim for the support of the Antimasons superior to 
either Jackson or Clay." b Wirt's actions, too, after the nomi- 
nations were not such as would inspire hope or confidence. 
He was old and sick, and no sooner was the step taken than he 

See "Letters of Rush, Adams, and Wirt." Boston, 1831, p. 46. Kennedy's Life of 
Wirt, II, 304. " Proceedingsof Convention of 1831," Boston, 1832. Niles's Register, XLI, 83. 

b Huntingdon Gazette ( Pennsylvania) quoted in Albany Argus, October 18, 1831. Niles's 
Register, XLI, 378. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 535 

wished to withdraw. He said that his only object in accept- 
ing the nomination was to unite the party, and as he could not 
do this, he did not want to continue in the race, but desired 
the election of Clay. The leaders were, however, more than 
satisfied and immediately set about forming schemes for get- 
ting the votes thrown upon Antimasonic grounds for Wirt to 
benefit Cla} r , the Mason who had scorned their cause. How 
well they accomplished this we have seen. We have seen 
that their plans miscarried in every State except New York, 
Pennsylvania, and Ohio, and even in Pennsylvania the Ger- 
mans broke away and threw their votes for Jackson.* 

The national election of 1832 proved the futility of trying 
to run a national ticket again on the Antimasonic issue. In- 
deed, the chief leaders thought the party politically dead. c 
But if it was dead as a national party, yet it was obvious that 
the support of these sections was absolutely necessary to the 
next anti- Jackson nominee of 1835. It was also obvious that 
Clay, because of his lack of prestige in those districts on 
account of his previous campaign position and his compromise 
upon the tariff question, could not hope to unite these elements 
into the anti- Jackson party of the future. d 

Daniel Webster had upon various occasions shown his sym- 
pathy with the Antimasonic cause/ and Clay being an impos- 
sibility, the party now turned their eyes toward him. On 
January 10, 1833, he was nominated by a meeting of the An- 
timasons of the legislature of Massachusetts, and all through 
that year he intrigued with the great leaders in New York for 
their support/ We have already seen how he gained the sup- 
port of the radical Antimasons in Pennsylvania by his letter in 
in which he severely condemned Masonry and agreed with their 
tenets. 9 ' The fact that he came from New England, together 

a Kennedy's Life of Wirt, II, pp. 317, 319, 363, 369. 

b Weed and Wirt both assert that Clay's refusal to renounce Masonry spoiled his 
chances for the Presidency. Weed, Autobiography, I, 364. Kennedy's Life of Wirt, II, 
380. It is probable that he could never have secured it even if he had renounced. If 
Clay had become an Antimason he would have lost many votes not only in Pennsylva- 
nia and New York, but in New England, especially in the cities where the Antimasons 
were bitterly hated, and it is probable that he could not have gained much from the 
German Antimasonic Jackson vote of Pennsylvania. 

cSeward, Autobiography, I, 232. Adams's Diary, IX, March 27, 1834. 

dSee extracts from Ontario Phoenix, New York, and Boston Free Press, in Albany 
Evening Journal, March 30, 1833. See also Albany Evening Journal, February 26, 1833. 

e Adams's Diary, IX, 71. 

/Tracy to Weed, June 10, 1833. Weed, Autobiography, II, 49. 

0Niles Register, XL1X, 293, gives the letter. 



536 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

with his attitude toward the South, made him difficult to accept 
throughout the country. A new man of no positive principles 
was demanded for such a disjointed movement as the Whig- 
party. Accordingly Harrison's statement, that Freemasonry 
was a u moral and political evil, 1 ' was made to serve what pur- 
pose it could, and although the Massachusetts Antimasons again 
nominated Webster and coupled with his name the champion 
of New York Antimasonry, Francis Granger, a Harrison had 
not only all the important States at his back, but a large fol- 
lowing in the South, and, as we have seen, remained the candi- 
date of the party. 6 

On September 11, 183Y, fifty-three Antimasons from Penn- 
sylvania, Ohio, New York, and Massachusetts met in Phila- 
delphia and decided to hold a nominating convention the next 
year. On November 13, 1838, this convention met in Phila- 
delphia, and after denouncing the Administration, and espe- 
cially the subtreasury plan, upon the motion of the reconciled 
Stevens, nominated Harrison and Webster/ Webster was 
again sacrificed to the interests of the Southern Whigs and 
Tyler was nominated in his place. This marks the closing 
scene of the Antimasonic party in national affairs.^ 

Although various attempts were made to unite the Anti- 
masonic members in Congress into a party, yet they all failed/ 
and Antimasonic members voted with the National Repub- 
licans almost without exception/ 

a Vermont State Journal, March 22, 1836. 

bThe ticket was Harrison and Granger, finally. 

cNiles Register, LV, pp. 176, 221. Pennsylvania Intelligencer, November 16, 1838. 
Pennsylvania Reporter, November 16, 1838. An electoral ticket, pledged to support this 
ticket, headed by ex- Governor Shulze, was nominated soon after in Pennsylvania. Niles 
Register, LV, 209. The Pennsylvania Telegraph, the organ of the Antimasons, kept these 
names at the head of its columns till December 11, 1839, when they gave place to the 
regular Whig nominees. 

dThe National Christian party, founded in Illinois in 1867, kept up the idea. On Sep- 
tember 12, 1882, they erected a monument to Morgan. Weed says that Seward's anti- 
masonry hurt his chances for nomination in I860. Weed, Autobiography, II, 295. 

e Adams's Diary, VIII, 430, gives the only instance of such organization. At the begin- 
ning of the Twenty -second Congress eighteen of the party threw their votes for John W. 
Taylor, of New York, for speaker. For Antimasonry in Congress see also Adams's Diary, 
VIII, 441, IX, pp. 114, 372. 

/See votes on bank question, Albany Argus, January 9, 1832; Albany Evening Journal, 
July 6, 1832. Deposit bank bill, Harrisburg Chronicle, June 29, 1836. The bill to prevent 
the circulation of the notes of the Bank, Pennsylvania Reporter, April 27, 1838. On the 
tariff, Albany Argus, January 11, 14, 1833; Pennsylvania Intelligencer, January 10, 1833. 
The act to appropriate the proceeds of the sales of public lands, Pennsylvania Telegraph, 
September 20, 1832. 



CHAPTER XXIII ANALYSIS OF ANTIMASONRY. 



Having- considered the political history of the party, it is 
well to inquire before completing this study as to the condi- 
tions that caused the movement and to point out some of the 
significant factors in its organization and the incidental aids 
to its growth. That anthnasonry should have sprung into 
prominence from apparently so slight a cause leads us to sus- 
pect that there were a great many more reasons for its rapid 
growth and strength than the excitement over the abduction 
of William Morgan. 

The peculiarly desperate and declining condition of the 
opposition to Jackson and the connection of this opposition 
with the young strength of Antimasonry has been already 
considered in this paper.^ There are, however, conditions 
favorable to the growth of Antimasonry and incidental to it 
which have received but slight mention and must now be 
summed up and given their place before a history of the Anti- 
masonic party is complete. The first thing that strikes our 
attention upon closer inspection is that this strange agitation 
occurred in the remarkable period of the Jacksonian Democ- 
racy, an era in America of the Renaissance of the Rights of 
Man, and of renewed Jeffersonism. It was a period, too, of 
the extension of the franchise, of humanitarian movements 
such as temperance, abolition of capita] punishment, and of 
imprisonment for debt, of the struggle for workingmen's 
rights, of educational reforms, of Owenism, of Fanny Wright- 
ism, of the beginnings of the Abolition agitation, and of many 
other equally radical movements. In religion also it was an 
age of free thought, discussion, struggles over dogma, and with 
it a strong reactionary spirit which was almost fanatical in its 
hatred of the new French ideas and of Unitarianism and free 

537 



538 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

thought in general. The religious activit} 7 of the time is 
shown by the agitations over the Sunday mail, the proposed 
Christian party in politics, the increased zeal for missions, 
Bible and tract societies, the growth of the Mormons and other 
peculiar sects, and of the powerful Campbellite agitation in 
the South. Europe was occupied with the French and Polish 
revolutions which especially excited American sympathies. 
It is not surprising that out of this seething mass Antimasonry 
should have risen. We must, then, in order to find the true 
basis of the party look beyond the mere Morgan incident and 
examine into the conditions we have observed and find the 
reasons outside of those already mentioned which made pos- 
sible the rise of so great a political movement from so appar- 
ently trivial a cause. 

The first fundamental consideration is the attitude of the 
Masons. All evidence points to the fact that at the time of 
the Morgan affair the Masonic institution ' ' may be said to 
have been in its palmy state " a and had in its ranks the wealth} r 
and influential men in all walks of life. When it was attacked 
because of the Morgan abduction, its loyal members sprang 
forward at once to defend it by tongue and pen. Papers were 
established and able editors secured to defend the order/' 
while other papers under the influence of the order or from 
political purposes either fought its battles or sought to hush 
up the outcry/ The strength gained by this means was so 
great that in the early part of 1827 there was actually a reac- 
tion in favor of Masonry. d The members of the order grew 
confident, entered politics, and boldly upheld their principles/ 

a Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 237. 

b The Craftsman of Rochester, the Masonic Tyler and Anti Masonic Expositor of Phila- 
delphia, the Xenia Atheneum of Ohio, New York Saturday Evening Gazette, Boston 
Masonic Mirror, Anti Masonic Opponent of Lancaster, Pa., and many others. 

c Such was the case with nearly all the Democratic papers and some of the National 
Republican papers, such as the Ohio State Journal, Boston Columbian Sentinel, Albany- 
Ad vertiser, Boston Independent Chronicle, Pawtucket Chronicle, Groton(Mass.) Herald. 

d Weed, Autobiography, I, 249. 

<>Weed, Autobiography, I, pp. 300, 350. At this time they openly called the men who 
had pleaded guilty of abducting Morgan "Masonic martyrs." It has been asserted by 
Rush (Letters on Freemasonry, Boston, 1831) that not a single one of these men was 
expelled from the order. Notices of such expulsions have been looked for, but have 
not been found. Masonic papers and histories since have been industriously engaged 
in seeking to disprove the Morgan abduction. The American Freemason of Louisville 
was especially strong in its arguments. See also The Masonic Martyr, by Robert Morris, 
Louisville, Ky., 1861. This gives a Masonic account of the conviction of Eli Bruce, sheriff 
of Niagara County. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 539 

Such determined opposition and such strength displayed 
served only to prove their opponents' arguments that the or- 
ganization was using its strength for political purposes, a and 
that they were trying to subvert the Government. This added 
fuel to the flame and led to a white heat of excitement which 
finally demolished their lodges and destroyed their organi- 
zation. If the} 7 adhered to their doctrines they were accused 
of fostering the "spirit of their indomitable opponents," 6 
while, on the other hand, when they renounced it was looked 
upon as an additional proof of their misconduct and original 
evil intentions. Said Harvey, a Mason: 

Lodges by scores and hundreds went down before the torrent and were 
swept away. In the State of New York alone upward of 400 lodges, or 
two-thirds of the craft, became extinct. * * * In June, 1838, there 
were only 46 lodges at work in Pennsylvania. c 

The majority of the Masons were thought to be naturall} T 
opposed to the Jacksonian Democracy/' forming as they did a 
select class in the community; but whether this was so or not, 
it became evident that the most of them were driven event- 
ually into the Jackson party. The reason for this is twofold: 
(1) The union of the Antimasons with the National Repub- 
licans, especial \\ in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. (2) 
The attitude of Jackson, who alone of the great leaders sup- 
ported and praised the Masonic institution openly, and even 
in the midst of the excitement complimented the Grand Lodge 
of Massachusetts and declared: that in his opinion " the Ma- 
sonic society was an institution calculated to benefit mankind 
and trusted it would continue to prosper."'' In Pennsylvania 
it was said that the grand lodge became a bod} 7 of Demo- 
crats/ in New York the Democratic party became full of 

Quotations were given in the Antimasonic papers showing that Masons had appealed 
to brother Masons for votes upon purely Masonic grounds. One of these was from the 
Boston Sentinel, March 30, 1816, in which an article appeared stating that a Mason was 
under obligation to vote for a brother Mason and signed by a Master Mason. Another 
urn- was an appeal to the Masons to support Clinton for governor of New York. This 
article appeared in the New York National Union October 30, 1834. These can be found 
in almost any volume of Antimasonic newspapers. 

&New York Commercial Advertiser, in Ohio State Journal, December 1, 1832. 

c Harvey Lodge 61, F.and A. M., Wilkesbarre. See also notices of dissolution in Albany 
Argus, March 13, 1829; Albany Evening Journal, December 2, 1830, and July 2, 1833 (pro- 
ceedings of grand lodge held June 5); Independent Chronicle, Boston, August 23, 1834. 
Schultz History of Freemasonry in Maryland, III, 6; Niles' Register, XLVII, 281. 

rfWeed, Autobiography, II, 40. 

eSeward, Autobiography, I, 145. 

/Harvey Lodge 61, F. and A. M., Wilkesbarre. 



540 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

Masons, a and in the other States the same tendency was 
exhibited. As time went on, however, it became apparent 
that the Antimasonic party was little more than an Anti- 
Jackson party, and consequently the Masons crept back into 
the National Republican ranks and worked with so-called 
Antimasons like Weed. The various " coalitions" which have 
been previously described show us this plainly. 6 

The next element to be considered is the religious and moral 
basis of Antimasonry. We have already noted that the period 
was one of intense religious activity. On July 4, 1827, in 
the Seventh Presbyterian Church of the City of Philadelphia, 
Ezra Stiles Ely preached a sermon in which he said: 

I propose, fellow citizens, a new sort of union, or if you please, a Chris- 
tian party in politics, which I am exceedingly desirous all good men in 
our country should join, not by subscribing to a constitution, but by 
adopting and avowing to act upon religious principles in all civil matters, 

Such a statement could not but cause excitement in so demo- 
cratic a period, and when a great petition was drawn up request- 
ing Congress to pass a law forbidding the transportation of 
the Sunday mails, it was immediately thought that a party 
was in formation which had as its object the union of church 
and state. d At this time also the more orthodox members 
of the Congregational Church were alarmed at the different 
beliefs creeping into their fold and strove to have their creed 
more strictly denned. For this purpose it was proposed by 
many to adopt synods like those of the Presbyterian Church 
in order to define their tenets exactly. A large body of the 
church even desired the union of the two churches/ Under 
these circumstances, many people became uneasy and feared 
lest the final outcome of these conditions and such expres- 
sions should result in the union of church and state. Charges 
that the union was in progress were frequently made, par tic u- 

a Hammond, Political History of New York, II, 402, Whittlesey's account. 

b For Masons voting for Antimasons, see Weed, Autobiography, I, 369. Albany Argus, 
August 4, 1828; February 5, June 3, 1831; August 14, October 9, 1832; Albany Evening 
Journal, September 24, 1832; August 3, 1833. Mr. Holcomb's speech in the Pennsylvania 
house of representatives, Pennsylvania Reporter, March 4, 1834. For Antimasons voting 
for Masons, see Albany Argus, March 22, 26, October 5, 14, 16, November 27, 1830; Septem- 
ber 18, 1832. The Sun, of Philadelphia, quoted in Pennsylvania Reporter, September 
10, 1830. 

c Ohio State Journal, February 2, 1831. 

d Vermont Watchman, May 5, 1829. Ohio State Journal, November 4, 1830. Pennsyl- 
vania Reporter, January 29, 1830; March 4, 1834 (?). 

Cincinnati Christian Journal Presbyterian), January 14, 1831. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 541 

hirly by the liberals and the opponents of the Presbyterians 
and Congregationalists." 

The Antimasonic party, having so many of the prominent 
religious men of the country in its ranks and being at this 
time in a crusade in which "churches were distracted," 6 natu- 
rally entered as another element in the religious distress of 
the period. In New England this was especially true as the 
party there was composed of the ultra religious country people 
already in opposition to the liberal spirit of the cities. 
It can be easily seen from these circumstances that the party 
soon received the stigma of the "Christian party in politics. " c 

Indeed if there was a religious party in existence it was the 
Antimasonic, for it wielded religion as one of its strongest 
weapons. Not only was every effort directed against Masonic 
preachers and laymen/ but the churches in their councils con- 
demned the order. The charge was made that the 

Masonic Society professes to find its foundation in the sacred volumes, to 
have an intimate relation with Solomon's Temple, and to be a religious 
fraternity a household of faith a band of mystic brethren. Examining 
it in the light, we find the religion of the association to be a mixture of 
Paganism and Mohammedanism, with a corruption of Judaism and Chris- 
tianity; for many professed Christians, many Baptists, Jews, and even 
Gentiles are found in its community. We also find that it perverts the 
meaning [of Christianity] and is full of names of blasphemy and [is guilty 
of] administering illegal, profane, and horrible oaths. e 



a Christian Register (Unitarian) , Boston, August 23, i828. This paper contains also a ref- 
erence to the Christian Advocate and Journal, New York, August 15, to the same effect. 
The orthodox in New England were charged with the "design of electing an orthodox 
State legislature, with the ultimate purpose of renovating our supreme judicial court and 
bringing it under subserviency to the dictation of orthodox ecclesiastics." * * * The 
Recent Attempt to Defeat the Constitutional Provisions in Favor of Religious Freedom 
Considered in Reference to the Trust Conveyance of Hanover Street Church, Boston, 1828. 

feWeed, Autobiography, I, 289. 

c Albany Argus, September 25, 1829: November 29, 1831. Lancaster Anti-masonic Herald, 
April 16, 1830. So strong was the fear of the union of church and state that a paper was 
founded with the avowed object of preventing it. The paper was called "The Defender 
of Our Religious Liberties and Rights," and in its prospectus it announced its purpose to 
be "to expose and resist such measures, in either sect, the design or tendency of which 
appears to be the union of spiritual and temporal power or sectarian ascendency or 
aggrandizement." Albany Argus, June 10, 1831. The Antimasonic papers of the day all 
have a religious tone. The Albany Evening Journal, the Lancaster Antimasonic Herald, 
and Vermont papers all show this. 

dguch as to exclude them from communion. Albany Argus, January 5. July 19, 1829; 
September 10, 1831: November 24, 1832. Weed, Autobiography, I, 249. 

Proceedings of the Dutch Reform Church, in Hackensack, N. Y., June. 1831: in Penn 
sylvania Telegraph, September 21, 1831. See also like phrases in North Star. Danville. 
Vt., April 12, 1831, copied from the Boston Christian Herald; and aiso proceedings of joint 
meeting at Sangerfield, N. Y., March 14, 1830; in Lancaster Anti Masonic Herald, February 
12, 1830. 



542 AMEKICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

The Antimasons in their political meetings passed resolu- 
tions similar to the above. a 

Even before the disappearance of Morgan the Presbyterian 
Church, in the synod of Pittsburg which met January, 1821, 
condemned the Masonic institution as unfit for professing 
Christians. b After the Morgan incident occurred the church 
took a decided stand against the society throughout the 
country, bade its ministers renounce it, and its laymen to sever 
all connections with it and to hold no fellowship with Masons/ 

What the Presbyterians were to the West the Congrega- 
tionalists were to New England and eastern New York. They 
attacked at one and the same time the Unitarians, the Univer- 
salists, and the Masons. In New England Antimasonry was 
looked upon as " nothing more than orthodoxy in disguise. " rf 

a See report of committee appointed "to consider nature, principles, and tendency of 
Freemasonry as regards its effects on the Christian religion," in the proceedings of the 
national convention of 1830. Maynard was probably the author of this report. See 
also proceedings of the convention of delegates opposed to Freemasonry, at Le Roy, 
Genesee County, N. Y., March 6, 1828; proceedings of Massachusetts convention, 1829; 
Boston Daily Advocate Extra, October 5, 1832, for reply to statement of 1,200 Masons, 
December 21, 1831. " For Democratic accounts see Freeman's Journal, Cooperstown, N.Y., 
September 20, 1830, and Albany Argus, September 17, 1830. 

b Lancaster Anti Masonic Herald, January 22, 1830. See also Harvey Lodge, No. 61, 
F. A. A. M., Wilkesbarre, p. 81. 

c See proceedings of Genesee Synod, September 30, 1829; Oneida Synod of February, 
1820, in Boston Christian Herald, quoted in Vermont North Star, May 3, 1831. See also 
North Star, September 28, 1830, for other notices. It was said by the Masons that " nearly 
every Antimasonic press is under Presbyterian surveillance." Craftsman (Masonic) in 
North Star, Danville, Vt., May 5, 1829. This in the language of the day would include 
the Congregationalists. Wirt says that it was suggested to him that the Presbyterians 
were coming to his aid. Kennedy's Life of Wirt, II, 314. For a typical Antimasonic 
document by a Presbyterian preacher see, " Masonry proved to be a work of darkness 
repugnant to the Christian religion and inimical to the Republican government; by Leb- 
beus Armstrong, late pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Northampton, * * * in 
the State of New York." Hartford, 1833. 

d Adams's Diary, IX, 11. Adams says that Lieutenant-Governor Armstrong was nomi- 
nated by the National Republicans for his orthodoxy so that the orthodox party might be 
conciliated. The orthodox as a whole leaned toward Antimasonry. See Boston Recorder 
(Congregationalist), July 27, 1831, "Anti Universalist " quoted in Moral Envoy, September 
22, 1830. For the views of a Congregational Antimasonic minister, see "An address 
delivered at Weymouth South Parish, June 21 (1829 ?), by Moses Thacher, pastor of the 
church at North Wrenthams, Mass. Beecher, the celebrated Boston Congregational 
preacher of the time, was apparently an Antimason. Adams's Diary, VIII, 379. For the 
attitude of the church in New York, see "Reply of the Genesee Consociation to Joseph 
Emerton," 1830(?). The Unitarians and Universalists condemned the excitement and 
refused to take part in it, a proceeding of course which ranked them with the Masons in 
the eyes of the Antimasons. See Christian Register (Unitarian), Boston, September 12, 
1829, December 19, 1829. See also quotations from the Universalist magazine, the Olive 
Branch, of New York, in American Masonic Register, September 21, 1839. In one of the 
Vermont papers opposed to the Antimasons appeared a curious letter in which the writer 
made the following appeal: "Universalists, awake! awake from thy slumbers; and show 
to these orthodox [Antimasons] that we are yet a majority and that we calculate to retain 
the majority." From Vermont Patriot, quoted in Vermont State Journal, March 11, 1834. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 543 

As early as 1823 the General Methodist Conference prohib- 
ited its clergy from joining the Masons in Pennsylvania, and 
during the Masonic excitement it was said by the Antimasons 
that "No religious sect throughout the United States has 
done more for the Antimasonic cause than the Methodists. " a 
It forbade its members to join lodges or to be present at any 
of their processions or festivals, and passed strict rules against 
ordaining amy ministers who belonged to the order/ The 
Methodist Church was rent and torn by the struggle, and 
many churches fearing the strife did not allow the question 
to come up, but passed nonpartisan resolutions/ 

The Baptist Church also was rent with dissensions over the 
question, although not to so great an extent as the churches 
previously mentioned. Papers which opposed Masonry were 
founded by members of that faith (or of some of its more 
radical branches) , rf and different church communities through- 
out the country passed resolutions denouncing the order/ 
Many other sects also condemned the order or had already 
provisions in their creed against it. Among these were the 
Dutch Reformed/ the Mennonites, the Dunkards, and the 
Quakers. 9 ' 

Many of the friends of temperance, at this time a very 
strong and growing reform, were also enemies of Masonry. 

a Lancaster Antimasonic Herald, October 9, 1829. 

&See proceedings of the Pittsburg annual conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
in Lancaster Anti Masonic Herald, September 24, 1830; also, resolutions of the annual 
conference of the Methodist ministers held at Perry, Genesee County, N. Y., July 29, 
1829, in Lancaster Anti Masonic Herald, August 14, 1829; proceedings of the Massachu- 
setts Antimasonic convention of 1831; account of the quarterly meeting of the Methodist 
society on the Sparta circuit and resolutions in the Rochester annual State conference in 
Rochester, June, 1829; in the North Star, Danville, September 18, 1829; also, the same 
paper, January 6, 1829, for resolutions at Monkton, Vt., and account of the renunciation 
of many ministers in the Ohio conference of that year; account of meeting of Metho- 
dists in Marengo County, Ala., May 13, 1829, condemning the order, in Lancaster Anti 
Masonic Herald, July 31, 1829. 

cgee notices in Albany Argus, June 11, 1829, and also resolutions of a nonpartisan na- 
ture passed at Portsmouth, N. H., at a Methodist conference. Albany Argus, November 
25, 1829. 

ft Baptist Herald of Boston. 

f Baptist Church at Ira, Vt., in Danville North Star, September 28, 1830; Conquest, N. Y., 
June 6, 1829, Second Baptist Church of Oneida County, N. Y., May 23, 1829, in Lancaster 
Ant' Masonic Herald, August 14, 1829. See articles in Albany Argus, April 15, August 8, 
1829, relating to Baptist churches. See also New York Baptist Register, September 14, 
1827; Le Roy Gazette, December 29, 1827, for troubles in the churches of Le Roy, York, 
Elba, Stafford, and Byron. Weed, Autobiography, I, 249. 

/General Synod, June, 1831, "condemned Masonry and bade its ministers renounce, 
and forbade the receiving into communion any member of the order. Pennsylvania 
Telegraph, September 21, 1831. 

Antimasonic Herald, August 27, 1830. 



544 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

The Masons frequently used wine in their festivals, and it 
was claimed that their associations tended in many ways to 
spread the drink evil/' Many of the temperance papers were 
either entirely in favor of the Antimasonic movement or were 
inclined that way.* 

The connection of the Jacksonian party with the increasing 
foreign population, composed as it was of so many Irish Cath- 
olics, added another element to Antimasoniy. "Masonry, 
Roman Catholic Faith, Monks, and the Inquisition" were 
often put in the same category/ 4 ' Popery and Freemasoniy " 
were denounced as "schemes equally inconsistent with repub- 
licanism," and every escape from the "trammels of these hor- 
rid oath-binding systems" was viewed as an "emancipation 
from the very fangs of despotism. "^ Such a spirit led natu- 
rally to the Native American doctrines of the future; indeed, 
many of the prominent Antimasons became leaders of that 
excitement. 

The party, as we have already seen, was active in organiz- 
ing the political phase of antislavery in Pennsylvania; and in 
New York it was the western part of the State, the "infected 
district," which afterwards took up the abolition agitation 
in that vicinity. Some of the great leaders, like Weed, Sew- 
ard, and Stevens, were afterwards among the great leaders of 
national antislavery activity. 

Another fact to be noted about Antimasonry was that it 
was essentially democratic and partook of the democratic 
spirit of the age. This may appear to be a strange statement 

a See discussions in Massachusetts house of representatives, in which the Antimasons 
tried to fasten the charge of intemperance upon the Masons. Pennsylvania Telegraph, 
February 20, 1830. See also proceedings of the Massachusetts Antimasonic convention 
of 1829. See also Fall River Moral Envoy, June 30, 1830. 

b The Genius of Temperance, of Albany, -was looked upon as an Antimasonic paper. 
Albany Argus, April 16, 1833. Frequently papers were, like the Ithaca Chronicle, devoted 
to Antimasonic, temperance, moral, and religious news. Moral Envoy, April 14, 1830. 
The Albany Evening Journal made some pretensions of being a temperance paper when 
it was first started. Mr. Rudolph Kelker, of Harrisburg, an eyewitness of the move- 
ment in Pennsylvania, mentions intemperance as one of the strongest arguments put 
forward against the Masons. 

c See quotation from the Tuscarawas Chronicle (Antimasonic) in Ohio State Journal, 
April 16, 1829. 

d See quotations from the Indiana County Free Press in Pennsylvania Reporter, April 
15, 1830; see also quotations from Greensburg Gazette (Antimasonic) in Pennsylvania 
Reporter, April 30, 1830; also quotations from the Saturday Protestant in Harrisburg 
Chronicle, August 22, 1838(7). Egle's account of the Buckshot war, Pennsylvania 
Magazine of History, XXIII, 137. See, in general, the account of Antimasonry in 
Pennsylvania. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 545 

at first glance, because it seems contradictory when we exam- 
ine the religious and social composition of Antimasonry and 
find that the conservative elements made up its membership, 
but it must be remembered that even the conservative classes 
were influenced by the spirit of the age. It has been before 
stated that the Masons as a class occupied the higher positions 
of society and the Stated They were therefore looked upon 
as members of an antidemocratic institution, the object of 
which was to u benefit the few at the expense of the many, 
by creating a privileged class in the midst of a community 
entitled to enjoy equal rights and privileges." 6 

The names and ceremonies used by the Masons were espe- 
cially the subject of attack. We read: 

Will the people of the Republic suffer slavery and oppression because 
it has assumed the name of masonry instead of monarchy? Will they 
suffer grand kings and grand princes and rights and privileges because 
they hypocritically feign to be republican when by no other name could 
Americans be enslaved? c 

And again: 

Resolved, That the Antimasonic party is an organization of the people 
against a secret society of republicans against grand kings of American 
citizens against the subjects of the Masonic empire, which extends over 
Europe and America and is governed by laws paramount to all other law. d 

a Lists given in the Antimasonic papers of the day bear this out. We find by examin- 
ing this list that the Masons had a very large number of doctors, lawyers, merchants, 
teachers, bankers, and politicians in their ranks. This fact can be very easily verified 
by examining the lists of notable men of the period or by turning the leaves of such a 
book as Harvey's History of Lodge No. 61, F. and A. M., Wilkesbarre. For statements 
from the Antimasonic side, see Lancaster Anti Masonic Herald, August 14, 1829, Anti- 
Masonic Statesman, Harrisburg, May 4, 1831, and the address of the State convention of 
May 25, 1831, in the same paper for June 1, 1831. 

b Journal of the Proceedings of the Second National Anti Masonic Convention at Balti- 
more, printed in Boston, 1832. See also similar expressions in account of the national 
convention of 1830; Mr. Holley's resolutions, in the Albany Evening Journal, September 
22, 1830; Herkimer, N. Y., county convention, in Albany Evening Journal, October 9, 
1830; Anti Masonic Review, p. 267. 

f Lancaster Antimasonic Herald, July 10, 1829. 

d Dauphin County (Pa.) meeting, August 15, in Pennsylvania Intelligencer, August 18, 
1836. For similar expressions see Steven's resolution in the appendix; the Anti Masonic 
Statesman, Harrisburg, June 1, 1831; Pennsylvania Telegraph, May 9, 1832; Lancaster 
Antimasonic Herald, July 10, August 5, 14, 28, September 25, 1829; Vermont State Journal, 
June 9, 1834; Le Roy Gazette, September 27, November 15, 1827; proceedings of Massa- 
chusetts conventions of 1829 and 1831; account of the meeting at Dedham, Mass., Chris- 
tian Register, Boston, January 17, 1829; Everett's letter to Middlesex County committee, 
Independent Chronicle, July 17, 1833; The Broken Seal, by S. D. Greene, editor of Boston 
Christian Advocate, printed in Boston, 1870, page 211; An Oration Delivered at Fanueil 

H. Doc. 461, pt 1 35 



546 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

The revolution in France had many friends in America, but 
there were also many who had no sympathy for the revolu- 
tionists or their principles. The New England Antimasons 
and Antimasons elsewhere of New England affiliations viewed 
the revolution in France with suspicion and distrust. They 
had a horror of any sort of a democracy which would lead to 
disorder or atheism. It was well known that secret societies 
had played a large part in all the French democratic struggles. 
These facts furnished the Antimasons in America with good 
ammunition at a very opportune time. As early as 1828- the 
Le Roy convention passed a resolution " That we discover in 
the ceremonies and obligations of the higher degrees of Ma- 
sonry principles which deluged France in blood, and which led 
directly to the subversion of all religion and government. " a 
This view, however, was not universal, for manj^ instances 
occur, especially outside of New England, where praises of 
the revolution were sung and resolutions were passed favor- 
ing it. 6 The guarded and eclectic sort of republicanism man- 
ifested by the party in New England was expressed by the 
opposition to foreigners, as shown in resolutions favoring 
restriction of the naturalization laws/ In Pennsylvania it is 
shown, as we have seen, in the hatred for Catholics, but there, 
too, one may see traces of all the New England prejudices, in 
sucb documents as Steven's resolutions.^ 

Another peculiarity of Antimasoniy is that it found its chief 
support in the country and not in the city. Everywhere 

Hall, July 11, 1831, by Timothy Fuller, Boston, 1831. The Moral Envoy, June 9, 1830, gives 
an extract purporting to be from Hardie'a Masonic Monitor, which says that "men in low 
circumstances, although possessed of some education and of good morals, are not fit to be 
members of the institution. They ought to know that Freemasonry requires not only 
knowledge but ancestry, and decent external appearance, to maintain its ancient respect- 
ability and grandeur." Quotations of this sort, without regard to time, place, or country, 
were considered by the party as good material to prove their charges. 

Proceedings of a convention of delegates opposed to Freemasonry, Le Roy, Genesee 
County, N. Y., March 6, 1828. See also report of committee to consider the connection 
between French riluminism and the higher degrees of Freemasonry, in proceedings of a 
convention held at Fanueil Hall, December 30, 31, 1829, January 1, 1830. Printed, Boston, 
January, 1830. For controversies over the question see, Ancient Freemasonry Contrasted 
with Illuminism or Modern Masonry, by "Tubal Cain," Utica, 1831. Proceedings Massa- 
chusetts convention of 1829 gives a history of Illuminism and connects it with Masonry. 
See also article in Le Roy Gazette, October 18, 1827; Report of Committee of Grand Lodge 
of Maine in American Free Mason, II, 82; Moral Envoy, July 14, 1830. 

?>See Proceedings of national convention of 1830. 

^See Proceedings of Massachusetts State convention, September 10-11, 1834. 

tf See appendix. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 547 

throughout the country the Antiraasons boasted of their 
strength in the rural districts and acknowledged the strength 
of Masonry in the cities. a 

Another fact about Antinmsonry is that it was essentially a 
New England movement. Of course there were exceptions 
to this in the German sectarians, the Scotch-Irish Presby- 
terians of Pennsylvania, and the Quakers; but in New England 
and New York 6 and throughout the path of New England 
emigration the party was strongest. Most of the leaders in 
New York like Weed, Granger, Holley, Ward, and Maynard, 
were of New England extraction; the party in Pennsylvania 
was led by Stevens and Burrowes and others, also of New 
England extraction; and was called by the Democrats "a 
Yankee concern from beginning to end." c Moreover the 

a Mr. Winden, in a thesis upon the influence of the Erie Canal on New York politics, 
University of Wisconsin, 1900, very carefully compiled statistics of the election of 1830 in 
New York. He shows that it was the tier of towns removed from the cosmopolitan life of 
the canals that voted for Granger in that year. For statements from Antimasonic 
sources as to their strength in the country see Weed, Autobiography, I, pp. 301, 304, 368; 
Proceedings of Anti Masonic Convention at Cayuga, January 1, 1830, printed in Auburn 
1830; Anti Masonic Review, 257; Lancaster Anti Masonic Herald, October 1, October 22, 
1830; address of the State convention of Pennsylvania; Anti Masonic Statesman, June 1, 
1831; account of Fourth of July celebration in Anti Masonic Statesman, July 6, 1831; Pro- 
ceedings of the County of Norfolk, Anti Masonic Convention, October 20, 1834; Hallett's 
speech in Massachusetts convention, September 10, 1834; Albany Evening Journal, May 
23, 1831, and November 10, 1831. It is a fact, which is shown by the vote cast, that the 
large cities had only very few of the party. Even Pittsburg showed no activity in this 
direction till 1835, when other interests than Antimasonry were at stake. Wilson's His- 
tory of Pittsburg. In the early elections Pittsburg was distinctly against the party. 
Ibid., 769. See Albany Evening Journal, April 23, 1833, for Rhode Island returns, in 
which Providence and Newport are shown to be against the coalition. See returns for 
Lancaster County, Pa., in Lancaster Anti Masonic Herald, October (22)?, 1830, which 
shows that even in that radical county the city of Lancaster was against the movement. 
See returns for Dauphin County in Pennsylvania Telegraph, October 12, 1831, for city of 
Harrisburg, etc. The great cities of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia cast but few 
votes for the cause. Connected with the fact that it was a movement in the country is 
the curious fact of the constant condemnation of the lawyers, seen in so many agrarian 
movements. The lawyers were said to have banded, against the people. Pennsylvania 
Telegraph, September 12, 1832. Articles appeared in the papers, one of which, after 
discussing the feasibility of destroying lawyers' "shops," concluded with the statement, 
" Would it not be better to cut lawyers' throats at once and save the 'shops' for the poor 
women and children whose substance they are eating out? : Penn Yan (N. Y.)Anti 
Masonic Enquirer, May, 1831, quoted in Albany Argus, June 3, 1831. The Boston Advo- 
cate constantly railed against lawyers and Freemasons. Boston Advocate Extra, 
November 4, 1834. 

ft Winden's thesis proves that the districts in which the New England stock was strongest 
cast also the strongest vote for Granger in 1830. See also Albany Argus, April 10, 1827. 

c Pennsylvania Reporter, September 17, 1830. For similar expressions, see Harrisburg 
Chronicle, January 18, 1836, toasts at the Fourth of July Masonic celebration in Lan- 
caster Anti Masonic Herald, July 10, 1829; quotations from Pittsburg Mercury in Penn- 
sylvania Reporter, September 14, 1832. 



548 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

cause received its strength and vigor largely from New 
England newspaper editors who established themselves in the 
State and took up the cause. a 

Having considered these conditions we find that the Morgan 
incident was but the spark that lit the fire. The fire was 
fanned and controlled by some of the shrewdest leaders this 
country has ever seen; so it is necessary for us to consider 
another fact powerful in its effect upon the movement; the 
influence of great leaders and their methods. Outside of the 
influence exerted by the writings of Rush, Adams, and Ever- 
ett, and the known sympathy of John Marshall, 6 Calhoun, 
Madison/ Webster, d Harrison, and many others of lesser 
light e which did so much to convince people of the supposed 
danger of Masonry; they had in Weed, Seward, A. Tracy, 
Maynard, Granger, Whittlesey, Spencer, Holley, Ward, Fill- 
more, Stevens, Burrows, and Fenn, some of the brightest 
men of the generation; some of the most brilliant newspaper 
writers and politicians of the time. The greatest of all these 
is Thurlow Weed, the magician whose wand controlled and 
directed the operations of the party/ The next greatest in 
the State of New York was perhaps Albert Tracy, the shrewd 
politician whose leadership was acknowledged by Weed him- 
self and who did so much to unite the jarring elements. 9 ' The 
next is Thaddeus Stevens, of Pennsylvania, who was to that 
State what Weed was to New York. His work, together with 
that of others of the first rank, like Seward and Maynard, we 
have already sufficiently described. Among the lesser lights, 
few did more to spread the " Blessed Spirit" than Henry Dana 
Ward, who acted as a sort of missionary for the cause. h Fred 

aTheophilus Fenn, the famous editor of the Pennsylvania Telegraph, was probably 
such. Pennsylvania Telegraph, July 11, 1832. Huntingdon County had an able editor 
in A. W. Benedict. History of Huntingdon County, Lytle, Lancaster, 1876, page 124. The 
Pittsburg Gazette was also edited by a New Englander. Lancaster Antimasonic Herald, 
December 17, 1830. 

& Letter to Everett, July 22, 1833. 

"Letter in proceedings of Massachusetts Convention, 1832. 

d Curtis' Life of Webster, I, pp. 508, 511. 

e Among these were Cadwallader D. Golden, mayor of New York, whose letters exerted 
a powerful influence. Anti Masonic Review, No. 6. 

/Seward, Autobiography, I, 179. 

o Weed, Autobiography, II, pp. 177, 299, 836, 421. He came near being nominated for 
Vice-President in 1839. Ibid. , 77. 

h We find him in the Vermont convention of August 5, 1829 (Watchman, August 11, 
1829); in the Massachusetts convention of December 30, 1829 (Proceedings of Convention, 
printed in Boston, 1830) ; in a meeting at Faneuil Hall, September, 1830 (Boston Free Press, 



THE ANTIMASONIC PAETY. 549 

Whittlesey was an active campaigner in New York as well as 
an organizer in Pennsylvania." Myron Holley, after helping 
to organize in New York, established at Hartford, Conn., a 
paper which helped to keep alive the cause in that vicinity. 6 
Among those in New England that did a great deal for the 
cause must be mentioned Hallett, of Rhode Island; Dr. Abner 
Phelps, Moses Thacher, Micah Ruggles, George Odiorne, and 
S. D. Greene, of Massachusetts. 

The methods used by these leaders for spreading the spirit 
were unique. The first great factor was the newspapers the 
4 ' free presses," as they were called. It was held by the leaders 
that the press was muzzled by the Masons, and that it was 
necessary to spread the doctrines by the establishment of 
Antimasonic papers/ The New York committee bought the 
first materials for a newspaper, and they soon sprang up in 
every direction. In 1832 there were 141 of these papers in 
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, 
Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, Massachusetts, 
Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. New 
York had 45 weeklies and 1 daily, while Pennsylvania had 55 
weekly papers/* These presses turned out tons of tracts, 
addresses, almanacs, reports of conventions, histories of the 
Morgan abduction and the trial, and letters by Rush and 
Adams/ 

The party, having few members in Congress, could not nomi- 
nate a President by that means, so they resorted to the national 
convention, a device which gave their cause unity as well as 
advertisement. 

Lectures by prominent leaders was another means of spread- 
ing their doctrines. A host of lesser lights also traveled about, 

September 3, 1830); at the Rhode Island convention of 1830 (Lancaster Anti Masonic Her- 
ald, April 10, 1830); active as the editor of the Anti Masonic Review, and active in the 
national plans of the party as correspondent of McLean and Calhoun before the elec- 
tion of 1832 (Adams' Diary, VIIL 412). 

a See page 68. 

?>The Free Elector, Albany Evening Journal, December 28, 1833. 

c Many of the papers, especially the Democratic papers, observing the political ten- 
dencies of the movement, either would not print the accounts of the trials and other 
Antimasonic matter or else laughed at the whole affair. There is no doubt, however, 
from the tone of many papers that they had Masonic editors. 

rf Albany Evening Journal, February 24, 1832. See accounts of founding of these papers 
in Ohio State Journal, April 7, 1831; Cincinnati Chronicle, June 11, 1831; Albany Evening 
Journal, March 1, June 3, 1831; Lancaster Antimasonic Herald, January 30, 1829, and in 
the Catalogue of Antimasonic books. 

See Catalogue of Antimasonic books. 



550 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

lecturing and giving exhibitions. Chief among these were 
S. D. Greene, the author of the Broken Seal, a member of the 
same lodge with Morgan, and Jarvis Hanks and Avery Allen, 
who were both recanting Masons. That these methods were 
successful is shown by the quickness with which the spirit 
spread and became a strong factor in the national politics of 
the country. 

Having now carefully examined the fundamental conditions 
of the question, as well as the facts which helped its growth, 
it is apparent (1) that the Antimasonic party owed much of 
its strength to the conditions of the times, and was not wholly 
the product of the abduction of Morgan; (2) that pure Anti- 
masonry had a slight and ephemeral existence politically, and 
that Antimasonry as it appeared in the election of 1832 was 
a complex of political and social discontent guided by skilled 
leaders. Political Antimasonry, disregarding the basic princi- 
ples of the party, nominated a man for President who did not 
believe in its proscriptive basis, who had been a Mason and 
had never formally renounced the order. Having nominated 
him, it combined its electoral votes in the States of New York, 
Pennsylvania, and Ohio, with a party whose leader not only 
was a Mason, but who publically declared his objections to the 
principles of Antimasonry, and scorned its proposals. The 
party in the political history of America has its chief import- 
ance in that it furnished the first solid basis for the Whig 
movement of the future. 



APPENDIX. 

RHODE ISLAND. 

Early in 1829 Antimasoniy appeared in Rhode Island, and 
a paper was established known as the Anti-masonic Rhode 
Islander. The next year a convention was held which sent 
delegates to the national convention and organized the party 
in the State. a 

This year a few votes were cast for the party, but it was 
not until 1831 that it gained any strength. In January, 1831, 
a memorial was drawn up and presented to the legislature 
asking for the repeal of the charter of the grand lodge. An 
interesting but fruitless investigation was the result of this 
act. 6 In 1832 their nominee for governor, William Sprague, 
polled 811 votes/ They refused to unite with the National 
Republicans upon the national question, and repudiated such 
coalitions as occurred in New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. 
"Their object," says the New York Commercial Advertiser 
(Clay), "was to rule or ruin."^ They polled but 875 votes 
for Wirt/ and Clay carried the State by 684 majority.^ 

Although the vote of the party was so insignificant, yet it 
was very important because it held the balance of power. 9 ' 
Each party consequently tried hard to win this vote. The 
Democrats by uniting upon Sprague for speaker of the house 
elected him, and won the political gratitude of the Antimasons. 7 * 

Moral Envoy [Antimasonic] , Fall River, Mass., March 24, 1830. Massachusetts Yeo- 
man, April 2, 1830. 

b Proceedings of Rhode Island convention of 1831, printed at Providence, 1831. See also 
Albany Evening Journal, November 11, 1831. April 20, 1833. See also A Legislative Inves- 
tigation into Masonry before a committee of the General Assembly of Rhode Island, 
Boston, 1832. 

<- Rhode Island Manual, 100. Albany Argus, July 28, 1832. 

rfNew York Commercial Advertiser, quoted in Ohio State Journal, December 1, 1832. 

e Columbian Sentinel, Boston, November 29, 1832. 

/ Rhode Island Manual, 177. Independent Chronicle, November 24. 1832. 

As the Rhode Island constitution required a majority, Lemuel H. Arnold (Clay), who 
had been elected in 1831, held the office until 1833, as, after five trials, no majority was ob- 
tained. Rhode Island Manual, pp. 95, 96, 99, 100. 

A Independent Chronicle, November 3, 1832. 

551 



552 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

The Clay papers called it a bargain by which the Jackson mem- 
bers voted for Sprague in order that the Antimasons would 
help a to elect Elisha R. Potter to the senate. It is certain 
that the Antimasons combined with the Jackson forces there- 
after. 

The Antimasons profited by the coalition to push their par- 
ticular doctrines, and an act passed the house this year re- 
quiring the several Masonic corporations to show cause why 
their charters should not be forfeited. It was put over until 
the next session by a vote of the senate. 6 However, they 
succeeded in having a law passed against extra-judicial oaths/ 

This spirit of combination also manifested itself in the elec- 
tion of senator, many Antimasons throwing their votes for 
Elisha R. Potter, Democratic candidate. Asher Robbins, 
nevertheless, was elected. This election produced one of the 
most interesting contests in the history of Rhode Island. d 

1833. 

In this year Mr. Sprague declined the nomination and John 
Brown Francis was nominated by the Antimasons. The 
Democrats afterwards concurred in this/ and the election 
resulted favorably to the coalition, Mr. Francis receiving a 
majority of nearly 750.^ 

The Antimasons looked upon the result as a rebuke to 
Arnold, the National Republican candidate, "who pretended 
to be favorable to the views of the Antimasonic party * * * 
until he was elected * * * when he threw off the mask and 
did everything in his power to annihilate them as a party, "ff 
They were especially bitter toward the National Republicans, 
who were hostile to their pet schemes and actively opposed 
their candidates. There is some evidence even of combina- 
tions between Masonic National Republicans and Jackson 

Independent Chronicle, November 7, 1832. 

b Independent Chronicle, January 26, 1833. 

< Albany Evening Journal, January 29, 1833. Pennsylvania Telegraph, February 20, 1833. 

d Independent Chronicle, January 23, 1833. Rhode Island Manual, 139. 

e Hartford Anti-masonic Intelligencer, quoted in Danville, Vt., North Star, May 13, 1833. 
This account says that Francis had been a delegate to the convention which nominated 
Henry Clay. 

/ Albany Evening Journal, April 20, 1833. Albany Argus, April 20, 1833. Rhode Island 
Manual, 101. 

g Boston Daily Advocate, quoted in Albany Evening Journal, April 23, 183;?. The cities 
of Providence and Newport were National Republican. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 553 

supporters to oust Antimasonic National Republicans, notably 
in the case of Dutee J. Pearce, who turned to the Antimasonic - 
Jackson coalition because of this action and was elected to 
Congress. a 

In the October session of this year the coalition succeeded 
in having the ""perpetuation act," as it was called, repealed. 
This act provided that in cases of no quorum because of some 
candidates having no majority the old organization held 
through. The act had helped the election of Robbins for 
senator in the previous year, and now his election was de- 
clared null and void and the office declared vacant. Jn the 
grand committee Elisha Potter, the coalition candidate, was 
declared elected by a unanimous vote, the opposition refusing 
to vote. 6 

An act was passed in this session by which the charters of 
certain Masonic lodges were repealed and those which con- 
tinued to exist were put under the most careful inspection 
and surveillance/ 

1834r. 

Mr. Francis was again elected, although his majority was 
but 156. d However, the Whigs secured a majority in the 
house. This majority did not dare to offend the Antimasons, 
and Sprague was again elected speaker/ The senate was still 
Democratic. The Whig majority succeeded in passing reso- 
lutions favorable to the Bank/ 



Adams's Diary, IX, 46. Vermont State Journal, Decembers, 1833. Niles's Register, 
XLIV, 226. 

bin Congress the election was contested and Robbins again given his seat. Senate 
Journal, first session Twenty-third Congress, 1833-34, p. 285. See Rhode Island Manual, 
139. The "perpetuation act" came up several times after this. Niles's Register, XLVI, 
pp. 173, 188. 

c Independent Chronicle, February 5, 1834. Proceedings of Massachusetts convention 
of 1834. It was provided that every lodge which may continue to exist is required to 
make returns in writing "yearly and every year to the Secretary of State of the number 
and names of its members and officers, the number and names of the persons who have 
been admitted within the year last preceding the date of said returns, with mode and 
manner of their admission and the form of promise or obligation which such new 
members have taken on their admission, the place and times of the meetings of such 
society holden within the last year together with a schedule or inventory of all funds 
and property, real or personal.'' The grand lodge gave up its charter. 

rf Independent Chronicle, April 19, 16, 23, Rhode Island Manual, 101. Vermont State 
Journal, May 12, 1834. 

e Independent Chronicle, April 19, 16, 23, August 30, November 1, 1834. Niles's Register, 
XLVII, pp. 7, 150. 

/Independent Chronicle, November 1, 1834. Niles's Register, XLVII, 150. The vote 
was 46 to 23. 



554 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

1835. 

In this year Francis was again elected over Nehemiah Knight 
by a majority of 106, a but the Whig candidate for lieutenant- 
governor was elected. In the legislature the Whigs still re- 
tained the majority and succeeded in electing Nehemiah Knight 
to the senate/ In the fall, however, matters had changed, and 
Pearce and Sprague were both elected to Congress/ 

For a considerable time, many of the prominent Antimasons 
had showed a tendency to split off from the coalition. This 
was particularly noticeable in the election of 1835/and as the 
party was in hopeless minority they were practically divided 
up between the great parties. Francis was elected in 1836 
and 1837, but in 1838 he was opposed successfully by William 
Sprague, who had become a Whig and led that party and the 
remnants of the Antimasons/ 

CONNECTICUT. 

In Connecticut the movement began to be agitated in the 
last few months of the year 1828. A State convention was 
held in February, 1829. In 1830, according to Antimasonic 
accounts, they elected six senators and about one-fourth of 
the house of representatives/ By combinations with National 
Republicans they were able, in 1832, to elect 67 members in 
the lower house and 8 senators and? 1 United States Sen- 
ator/ 

On the national question the party kept their integrity and 
gave Wirt 3,335 votes/ He polled the most votes in Wind- 
ham and Tolland counties in the northeastern part of the State. 
In 1833 the party cast but 3,250 votes for Storrs, their can- 

Independent Chronicle, May 13, 1835. Rhode Island Manual, 101. 

& Independent Chronicle, January 24, May 16, 1835. Rhode Island Manual, 140. 

c Independent Chronicle, August 18, October 3, 1835. Niles's Register, XLIX, 153. 
Adams wrote to Pearce congratulating him on his victory over the "base compound 
of Hartford Convention, Federalism, and Royal Arch Masonry," which he said had 
betrayed Tristram Burgess by not electing him United States Senator. 

ft Independent Chronicle, April 8, 1835. 

e Niles's Register, LIV, 176. Van Buren carried the State in 1836 by 234 majority. Rhode 
Island Manual, pp. 101, 177. 

/See Seward's report to national convention, September 11, 1830. It is probable that 
many of those elected were practically National Republicans, although favoring their 
cause. The Antimasons were prone to look upon such men as their own. 

g Albany Evening Journal, April 12, 1832. Vermont State Journal, April 16, 1832. 

h Vermont State Journal, May 23, 1832. 

i Albany Argus, November 13, 21, 1832. Columbian Sentinel, November 27, 1832. 



THE ANTIMASOFIC PARTY. 555 

didate for governor, but by a coalition they succeeded in elect- 
ing four Congressmen favorable to their cause." In 1834 they 
cast but 2,108 votes for Storrs and elected fourteen members 
to the house of representatives/ In 1835 their vote for gov- 
ernor had dwindled down to 757, c and after this they prac- 
tically disappear as a political party, being absorbed by the 
Whigs. 

NEW JERSEY. 

Antimasonry earty took root in Salem County, which was 
largely impregnated with the Quaker element opposed to 
secret societies. It also bordered on a similar Antimasonic 
vicinity in Pennsylvania. d 

In 1831 a convention was held at Trenton, by which dele- 
gates were appointed to the national convention and Richard 
Rush nominated for President of the United States/ Although 
they cast a few votes this year they accomplished practically 
nothing.^ 

In August, 1832, a convention was held at Trenton, which 
approved of the nomination of Wirt and Ellmaker and nomi- 
nated an electoral ticket pledged to ihem. ff They cast less 
than 500 votes for their candidate, however. h As small as 
the vote was, if it had been cast for Clay it would have carried 
the State for him. The National Republicans also charged 
them with the loss of three members to Congress. They were 
accused of purposely ruining Clay's chances in the State. 
We had it from the lips of one of their candidates for elect- 
ors," says the New York Commercial Advertiser, " that if the 
friends of Mr. Clay would not abandon their own principles 
and their own candidate, their design was to throw the state 
into the hands of Jackson."* After -this election the party 
dwindled into insignificance. 

"Albany Evening Journal, April 29, 1833. Niles Register, XLIV, 131. 
& Independent Chronicle, April 2, 23, May 14, 1834. Niles Register, XLVI, 109; XLV1I, 
103. 

c Niles Register, XLVIII, 186. 
rfSee Albany Argus, November 28, 1830. 
* Albany Argus, June 16, 1831. 
/Albany Argus, October 20, 1831. 

Albany Argus, September 4, 1832. 

ft Columbian Sentinel, Boston, November 29, 1832. Albany Argus, November 26, 1832. 

1 Quoted in Ohio State Journal, December 1, 1832. 



556 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

MICHIGAN. 

It is but natural that the stream of New England emigra- 
tion reaching westward should bring the seeds of Antimasonry 
with it. According to their own accounts it appeared in 
Michigan territory as early as 1828, and the first convention 
was held in February, 1829. The county of Washtenaw, 
especially, took up the cause, while Monroe, Oakland, Wayne, 
Lenawee, Macomb, and St. Claire had some Antimasons 
among their inhabitants. a 

A convention was held in June, 1829, which nominated John 
Riddle as Territorial Delegate to Congress. 6 He was elected 
by a majority of 800. c These triumphs were short lived, for 
in the succeeding elections they were beaten d and the party 
died out. 

In many other States Antimasonry as a political institution 
had an ephemeral existence. In Indiana a convention was 
held as early as March, 1830,* and in 1832 it formed a factor 
in the elections in Decatur, Franklin, Fayette, Hamilton, 
Jennings, Knox, Marion, Ripley, Switzerland, Union, and 
Wayne counties/ 

In Maine they nominated candidates for governor in 1832, 
1833, and 1834.^ In New Hampshire, across the river from 
the Antimasonic district in Vermont, a convention was held 
June 1, 1831. h In 1832 the leaders in this State did not dare 
to put forward a ticket, as it would surely throw the election 
into the hands of Jackson.* 

In the South movements more or less political took place in 
Alabama (Marengo County)/ in Maryland, especially in the 
Boonsboro district/ and in North Carolina in Mecklenburg 
County. l 

a Seward's report, September 11, 1833. See also Lancaster Anti Masonic Herald, January 
(28) ?, 1829. 

b Lancaster Anti Masonic Herald, June 19, 1829. 

Ibid.. August 14, 1829. 

d Albany Argus, September 17, 1832; September 17, 1833. 

e Lancaster Anti Masonic Herald, April 30, 1830. Moral Envoy, Fall River, Mass., May 
5, 1830. 

/Albany Argus, November 21, 1832. 

a Albany Evening Journal, July 18, 1832. Maine Register for 1901-2, 119. 

h North Star, Danville, June 7, 1831. 

J Letter of William Plumer, October 26, 1832. Independent Chronicle, Boston, Novem- 
ber 3, 1832. 

j Lancaster Antimasonic Herald, July 31, 1829. 

fcSchultz's History of Freemasonry in Maryland. 

l Vermont North Star, July 3, 1832. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 557 

APPENDIX TO CHAPTERS ON PENNSYLVANIA. 
STEVEN'S RESOLUTIONS UPON EXTRA JUDICIAL OATHS, DECEMBER 10, 1834. 

Whereas it is alleged and believed by a large and respectable portion of 
the Commonwealth; that the Masonic institution is injurious to the rights, 
and dangerous to the liberty of the people; that it imposes on its members 
oaths and obligations unauthorized, by and inconsistent with the laws of 
the country; that it binds its members to give a preference to each other 
in all things over the rest of their fellow-citizens; to " apprise each other 
of all danger," whether such danger arise from the legal prosecution of 
their own crimes and misdemeanors or otherwise; to conceal the secrets 
and crimes of each other, not excepting even murder or treason; to espouse 
each other's cause, and if possible extricate them from all difficulties, 
whether they be right or wrong; to avenge even to death, the violation of 
any Masonic oath, and the revelation of any of their secrets; that the rules 
and ceremonies of the lodges are of a degrading, immoral, and impious 
character; that the candidates are stripped nearly naked, and led to the 
imposition of their awful oaths, hoodwinked, and with a rope or cord 
around their necks, called a "cable tow;" that in the Royal Arch degree, 
they affect to enact the sublime and sacred scene of God appearing to Moses 
in the burning bush of Mount Horeb. 

[Here was a long statement accusing them of intemperance, drinking 
wine out of a skull, etc.] 

That it is an antirepublicaii and an insidious and dangerous enemy to 
our democratic form of government; that it creates and sustains secret 
orders of nobility, in violation of the spirit of the Constitution; that it is a 
regularly organized kingdom within the limits of the Republic, assuming 
and secretly exercising all the prerogatives and powers of an independent 
kingdom; it has its knights, its grand commanders, its kings, its high 
priests, and its great grand high priests; it has established a central and 
controlling government, extending its branches over all the civilized world, 
which they denominate the "holy dmpire;" the seat of this government 
in America, is in what, in Masonic language, is called the "Valley of New 
York." This branch of Masonic power is called "The Grand Supreme 
Council of the Most Puissant Sovereign Grand Inspectors General of the 
Thirty-third Degree at the Grand Orient of New York; " it sends ambas- 
sadors to and receives them from all the Masonic kingdoms of the earth; 
it forms secret treaties and alliances offensive and defensive with those 
powers, continues its correspondence and relation with them, although 
our own Government may at the same time, be at open war with the gov- 
ernments in which such Masonic kingdoms are located; it secures an 
undue, because unmerited advantage to members of the fraternity over 
the honest and industrious uninitiated farmer, mechanic, and laborer, in 
all the ordinary business transactions of life; it prefers a corrupt "brother" 
to honest citizens, in appointments to office; it prevents the wholesome enact- 
ment and due administration of laws; it enters and corrupts our legislative 
halls, our executive affairs, our courts of justice; the trial by jury, instead 
of being the palladium of our rights, it converts into an engine of favor- 



558 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

itism and Masonic fraud; its whole tendency is to cherish a hatred of 
democracy, and a love of aristocratic and regal forms and power. 

The truth of all these things has been repeatedly proclaimed to the 
world under the signatures of thousands of honest men by authentic docu- 
ments procured from the lodges themselves, and by the testimony under 
oath, of numerous adhering Masons of good character; and it has never 
yet been contradicted by the sworn testimony of a single witness: There- 
fore, Resolved, That the committee on the judiciary system be instructed 
to bring in a bill effectually to suppress and prohibit the administration 
and reception of Masonic, Odd Fellows, and all other secret, extrajudicial 
oaths, obligations, and promises in the nature of oaths. (Pennsylvania 
Reporter, December 12, 1834. Steven's Resolutions of December 10.) 

APPENDIX TO NEW YORK. 

The following is an amusing and instructive political writ- 
ing, which is illustrative of the struggle in New York. It 
was printed in the Albany Evening Journal, April 29, 1831, 
and is copied from the Schoharie Free Press. It is "most 
respectfully dedicated to the ' distinguished editor of the State 
paper.' r [Croswell.] 

THE PARTY. 

This is the house that Mat built. 

The people's money. This is the Malt that lay in the house that Mat 
built. 

Wright, Croswell, Flagg, Bouck, the modest adjutant-general, Fat Sal- 
aries, Direct Taxation & Co. These are the i^^rats 1 ^ that eat the malt 
that lay in the house that Mat built. 

Free Presses. These are the cats that are killing the rats that eat the 
malt that lay in the house that Mat built. 

Officeholders and Office hunters. These are the dogs that bark at the 
cats that are killing the rats that eat the malt that lay in the house that 
Mat built. 

Enos T. T. & "^gThis is the man all tattered and torn, that kissed the 
handmaid all forlorn, that bribed the "Small light" with her "wine and 
her corn" that fondles the lap-dogs that growl at the cats that are killing 
the rats that eat the malt that lay in the house that Mat built. 

Antimasonry. This is the Lion with eyes flashing scorn, that shakes 
"little Enos" all tattered and torn, that kissed the maid with the crippled 
horn (alas for the ribbons, no more to be worn), that fondles the lap-dogs 
that whine at the cats that are killing the rats that eat the malt that lay in 
the house that Mat built. 

Pope Martin. This is the priest of his prospects all shorn, that married 
the man all tattered and torn, that kissed the handmaid all forlorn, that 

a" Mat" or "Martin" is Martin Van Buren. 
b"Enos" Throop. 



7 " 
THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 559 

shrinks from the Lion's glance of scorn, that tosses the lap-dogs that yelp 
at the cats that are killing the rats that eat the malt that lay in the house 
that Mat built. 

Jack Masons. These are the asses that bray night and morn, that serve 
the " Magician" all shivering and shorn, that married the man, scurvy, 
tattered, and torn, that ogled the handmaid all naked and lorn, that 
cursed the day the "Blessed Spirit" was born g^s^that is crushing the 
puppies that snarl at the cats that are killing the rats that eat the malt 
that lav in the house that Mat built. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY. 

There are a very few accounts which give us any inkling of 
the political basis of the Antimasonic party. In nearly all 
the accounts of the time we find mention of the excitement 
produced by the disappearance of William Morgan and dis- 
cussions about the aims and methods of the Masonic fraternity, 
but we find little of value to the student of political Anti- 
masonry. The principal sources may be divided as follows: 

A. Lives and letters of contemporaries. Of these the most 
valuable are: 

1. Autobiography of Thurlow Weed. 

Weed gives a good history of the political conditions of the times, but 
his work is colored by his desire to prove his own consistency. He 
is especially valuable for the history of the party in New York and 
national affairs. 

2. Autobiography of William H. Seward. 

The same criticism which applies to Weed's Autobiography applies to 
this work. 

3. Diary of John Quincy Adams. 

A valuable source not only for Adams's position, but also for an in- 
sight into the politics of Massachusetts. 

4. Kennedy's William Wirt. 

Valuable for Wirt's letters upon the subject. 

5. Bancroft's Life of Seward. 

It gives a sane and consistent account of Seward's connection with 
the party in New York. 

6. Curtis' s Webster. 

Valuable only for Webster's letters showing his connection with the 
party. 

7. McCall's Life of Thaddeus Stevens. 

Too short to be of great use. 

8. Clay's Correspondence. 

Useful for incidental references showing his ideas upon Masonry and 
negotiations with Antimasons. 

9. Calhoun's Correspondence. 

Contains a few references in regard to his attitude toward Anti- 
masonry. 

10. Letters of Jackson, Van Buren, and others. 
Very few and unimportant references. 
560 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 561 

H. General histories. 

< if no use with the exception of a short account of the beginnings of 
Antimiisonry in New York in McMaster's History of the People of the 
United States. Vol. 5. 

C 1 . Local histories. 

1. Wilson's History of Pittsburg. 

A work of great value compiled from original sources. 

2. Other local histories of counties and cities. 

Of value only in the accounts which they give of individuals. 

D. State histories. 

1. Egle's History of Pennsylvania. 

Valuable only for the short account it gives of Pennsylvania history 
during the period studied. 

2. Thompson's History of Vermont. 

I'seful only for outline of political events. 

3. Other State histories. 

They sometimes give us brief outlines of political activities in the 
State, otherwise unreliable and unimportant. 

E. Political histories. 

1. Hammond's Political History of New York. 

This is the best book upon Antimasonry in New York. It has two 
contemporaneous accounts. Hammond's account is that of a fair- 
minded National Republican, while Whittlesey's account is colored bv 
his Antimasonic beliefs. 

2. Other political histories. 

Too general and superficial in character. They do not touch the 
basis of the movement. They do not go into the State questions at all. 

F. State records. 

1. Laws and statutes. 

Very useful when other material is not accessible. The official State 
papers of the times publish the same material with comment and de- 
bate, and therefore are more useful to the student of a political party. 

2. State legislative journals. 

Often useful for records of votes upon questions, but as the State 
papers also give this material, and with it the politics of each man, they 
are much more useful. Journals, however, are of great use where the 
other material is missing. The reqords of the governor and council of 
Vermont are of especial use in this connection. 

:?. Governors' messages. 

Often useful, as they give us a condensed account of the affairs of the 
State and the policy of individuals. These messages, however, are 
printed in the official State papers, and have been used in connection 
with those sources. 

4. Financial affairs, canal reports, etc. 

Valuable material for the study of State questions. They are gener- 
ally printed in the official papers, and the newspapers of the day, and 
have been used in that connection. 

5. State manuals and registers. 

Of use in giving the names of officers, terms of office, votes, etc. Wil- 
liams's New York Register is of especial use in this connection. 

H. Doc. 461, pt 1 36 



562 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

G. Congressional debates, proceedings, etc. 

The Antimasonic party had no Congressional career, and was but once 
or twice referred to in Congress. Votes upon national questions are in 
some cases of use. 

H. Masonic histories and proceedings of lodges. 

They have very little to say about the matter, and whatever is said 
bears merely upon the abduction of Morgan or is in defense of the order. 
However, Harvey's Lodge, No. 61, Free and Accepted Masons, Wilkes- 
barre, Pa.. 1897, has a very valuable account of political Antimasonry in 
Pennsylvania. 

I. Miscellaneous. 

1. Catalogue of Books on the Masonic Institution in Public Libraries of 
Twenty-eight States of the Union * * * by a Member of The 
Suffolk Committee of 1829. Boston, 1852. 

This is a very valuable compilation, as it gives not only the books and 
pamphlets, but also the principal Antimasonic arguments and the dates 
of the different conventions. 

J. Pamphlets, broadsides, etc. In giving a list of pam- 
phlets, it is necessary to distinguish between the pamphlets of 
political significance and those which deal merely with the 
social side of the question. The following selected pamphlets 
are useful for the light which they throw upon politics: 

1. Extracts from the Proceedings of the First Antimasonic Convention. 

Boston, 1833. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

Of great importance for the study of national organization of Anti- 
masonry. 

2. The Proceedings of the Second United States Antimasonic Convention. 

Boston, 1832. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

Valuable for the study of the national aspects of the question. 

3. Vindication of General Washington from the Stigma of Adherence to 

Secret Societies by Joseph Ritner. * * * Together- with a letter 
to Daniel Webster and his reply. Boston, 1841. (In Wis. Hist. 
Library. ) 

Especially valuable for the negotiations with Webster. 

4. Proceedings of an Antimasonic Republican Convention of the County 

of Cayuga. Held at Auburn, January 1, 1830. Auburn, 1830. (In 
Wis. Hist. Library.) 

Pamphlets such as these give us an insight into the political basis of 
the party in rural districts. 

5. Proceedings of the Rhode Island Antimasonic State Convention, Sep- 

tember 14, 1831. Providence, 1831. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

Important for the study of the history of the party in Rhode Island. 

6. A Legislative investigation into Masonry * * * before a com- 

mittee of the General Assembly of Rhode Island, by B. F. Hallett, 
George Turner, and others. Boston, 1832. (In Wis. Hist. Library. ) 
A curious pamphlet, showing the legislative aims of the more radical 
Antimasons. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 563 

7. An Official Report of William Sprague, jr. ; one of the Committee of 

the House of Representatives of Rhode Island, upon the Subject of 
Masonry. Providence, 1832. (In Pa. State Hist. Society Library.) 
Shows the result of the coalition between the Democrats and Anti- 
masons in Rhode Island. 

8. Doings of the Plymouth County Antirnasonic Convention hekl at Ab- 

ingdon, March 10, 1828. (Broadside in Wis. Hist. Library.) 

One of the earliest pamphlets issued by the party in Massachusetts. 
It shows us the early efforts for organization in rural districts. 

9. An Abstract of the Proceedings of the Antimasonic State Convention 

of Massachusetts. Boston, December 30 and 31, 1829, and January 

I, 1830. Boston, 1830. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

A rare and useful pamphlet of great political significance. 

10. A Brief Report of the Debates in the Antimasonic State Convention of 

the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Held in Boston, December 
30/31, 1829, and January 1, 1830. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

It has but slight political value, but it gives us a good idea of what 

the grievances of the members were, and also their attitude toward the 

masons of the State. 

11. Address to the People. From the Antimasonic Convention * * * 

Held in Faneuil Hall, January 1, 1830. (Broadside in Wis. Hist. 
Library.) 

Practically a platform of the party. 

12. An Oration Delivered at Faneuil Hall, Boston, January 11, 1831, by 

Timothy Fuller. Boston, 1831. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

Mixed up with the tirade of denunciation is a good deal of matter 
showing the attitude of the party on the questions of the day. 

13. An Abstract of the Proceedings of the State Convention of Massachu- 

setts, held in Faneuil Hall, Boston, May 19, 20, 1831. (In Wis. 
Hist. Library.) 

A useful source for State politics. 

14. Antimasonic Rupublican Convention of Massachusetts, held at Worces- 

. ter, September 5, 6, 1832. Boston, 1832. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 
Valuable especially for the attitude of the Antimasons toward the 
National Republicans upon the question of a National candidate. 

15. Proceedings of the Massachusetts Antimasonic Convention, September 

II, 12, 13, 1833. Boston, 1833. (In New York State Library, 
Albany.) 

IB. Antimasonic Republican Convention of Massachusetts. Held at Bos- 
ton, September 10, 11, 1834. Boston, 1834. (In Wis. Hist. Library. ) 

17. An Address to the People of Massachusetts. In relation to the Politi- 

cal Influence of Freemasonry on some of the * * * proceedings 
of the Legislature at the last session, for the year 1831. Boston, 
1833. (In Wis. Hist. Library. ) 

Very important, as it shows the whole political struggle of the National 
Republicans and the Antimasons in the Massachusetts legislature. 

18. An Investigation into Freemasonry. By a joint Committee of the 

Legislature of Massachusetts * * * March, 1834. Boston, 1834. 
(In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

The results of the investigation show us little, but the pamphlet 
reveals the purposes and methods of radical Antimasons. 



564 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

19. Proceedings of the Sixth Antimasonic State Convention of Massachu- 

setts, held in Boston October 1, 1835. (Broadside with the Boston 
Daily Advocate Extra. In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

Reveals the growing dissolution of the party in Massachusetts. 

20. Resolutions adopted by the Antimasonic members of the legislature of 

Massachusetts * * * opposed to the nomination of Martin Van 
Buren. * * * March 9, 1836. Boston, 1836. (In Wis. Hist. 
Library. ) 

It is important, as it shows the attitude of the remnant of the Anti- 
masons of Massachusetts. 

21. The Character of General Jackson and Mr. Van Buren, by Alexander H. 

Everett, in 1832, also Notions of Antimasonry, by the same author 
in 1833. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

A political pamphlet directed against the aspirations of Alexander 
Everett. 

22. Proceedings of the New York State Convention at Albany, 1829. (In 

New York State Library, Albany. ) 

Important for a study of the political organization of 1829 in New 
York. 

23. Proceedings of the New York State Convention held in Utica, 1830. 

(In New York State Library, Albany.) 

Reveals the growing power of Weed and his followers. 

24. Light on Masonry. David Bernard, Utica, 1829. (In Wis. Hist. 

Library. ) 

Contains some political matter such as the Proceedings of the Le Roy 
Convention of New York Legislature of 1828. 

25. Narrative of the Anti-Masonick Excitement in the Western Part of the 

State during the years 1826, 1827, 1828, and part of 1829. Henry 
Brown, Batavia, N. Y., 1829. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

A Masonic account, dealing but slightly with political matters. 

26. Proceedings of a Convention of Delegates opposed to Free Masonry, 

Le Roy, Genesee County, N. Y., March 6, 1828. (In. New York 
State Library, Albany. ) 

An important pamphlet, showing the genesis of Antimasonry in 
New York. 

K. Books and pamphlets showing the social side of Anti- 
masonry. A great many pamphlets, almanacs, broadsides, 
etc. , were issued by each side upon the Morgan affair and the 
Masonic Fraternity. The Antimasonic pamphlets are quite 
fully given in the catalogue of Antimasonic books. The fol- 
lowing pamphlets are especially useful. 

1. The True History * * * of the Abduction of William Morgan. P. C. 

Huntington. New York, 1886. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

2. The Masonic Martyr. The Biography of Eli Bruce. Rob. Morris, 

Louisville, Ky., 1861. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

A Masonic defense of one of the individuals on trial for the abduction 
of William Morgan. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 565 

3. The Broker Seal, or Personal Reminiscences of the Morgan Abduction 

and Murder, by Samuel D. Greene. Boston, 1870. (In Wis. Hist. 
Library. ) 

Greene claimed to be a member of the same lodge with Morgan, and 
was afterwards editor of the Boston Advocate. 

4. Letters on the Masonic Institution, by John Quincy Adams. Boston, 

1847. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

Important for the attitude of Adams. 

5. Illustrations of Masonry. William Morgan. New York, 1827. (In 

Wis. Hist, Library.) 

<>. Letters on Masonry and Antimasonry. Addressed to Hon. John 
Quincy Adams by William L. Stone. New York, 1832. (In Wis. 
Hist. Library. ) 

7. Letters of Hon. Cadwallader D. Golden upon the Secret Order of Free 

Masons. New York, 1829. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 
Mr. Golden was mayor of the city of New York. 

8. Another Masonic Murder. By Samuel G. Anderton. Boston, 1830. 

(In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

9. Letters addressed to William L. Stone, esq., of New York, * * * 

upon the subject of Masonry and Antimasonry, by John Quincy 
Adams, to which is added a Portrait of Masonry, by John C. Spen- 
cer. Providence, 1833. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

10. History of Masonic Persecutions. Rev. George Olive, D. D. 1866. 

(In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

11. Nathaniel Very's Renunciation of Free Masonry. Worcester, 1830. 

(In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

12. Renunciation of Free Masonry. Hiram B. Hopkins, esq. Boston, 

1830. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

13. Rev. Joseph Christmas' s. denunciation. 1830. (In Wis. Hist. 

Library. ) 

14. Renunciation of Free Masonry. By Hon. Pliny Merrick, of Worcester, 

Mass. Worcester, 1871. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 
Merrick's renunciation took place in 1832. 

15. Constitution of the Young Men's Antimasonic Association for the 

Diffusion of the Truth. Boston, 1832. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

16. A Portrait of Masonry and Antimasonry, as drawn by Richard Rush, 

John Quincy Adams, William Wirt, etc. Providence, 1832. (In 
Wis. Hist. Library.) 

17. Masonry Proved to Be a Work of Darkness, Repugnant to the Chris- 

tian Religion and Inimical to a Republican Government. By 
Lebbeus Armstrong. Hartford, 1833. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 
Useful as an example of religious opposition to Masonry. 

18. Free Masonry, in Reply to Anti-Masonry; in the American Quarterly 

Review, March, 1830. Boston, 1830. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

19. A Brief Defense of John the Baptist against Foul Slander and Wicked 

Libel of Free Masons. John Gest, 1834. (In Wis. Hist. Library. ) 

20. Reply to the Declaration of 1,200 Masons. Boston, 1832. (In Wis. 

Hist. Library.) 



566 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

21. Letters on the Entered Apprentice's Oath, by John Quincy Adams. 

Boston, 1833. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) ' 

22. A Collection of Letters on Freemasonry, Chronologically Arranged. 

Boston, 1,849. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

23. A Letter on Freemasonry, by the Hon. Richard Rush, to the Committee 

of the Citizens of York County, Pennsylvania. Boston, 1831. (In 
Wis. Hist. Library.) 

This latter did much to break up the National Republican Antimasonic 
coalition in Pennsylvania in 1831. 

24. Letters of Rush, Adams, Wirt. Boston, 1831. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

25. An Address Delivered at Weymouth, South Parish, June 21, 1830. 

Moses Thacher. Boston, 1830. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 
By a leading Antimasonic Congregational minister. 

26. A Freeman on Freemasonry, 1831(7). (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

27. An Address to the Freemen of Massachusetts, by a Freeman. Worces- 

ter, 1832. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

28. A Voice from the Green Mountains on the Subject of Masonry and 

Antimasonry, by Samuel Elliott. Brattleboro, 1830. (In W T is. Hist. 
Library. ) 

29. The Opinions of the late Chief Justice of the United States, John 

Marshall, Concerning Freemasonry. (In Wis. Hist Library.) 

30. Letters of John Quincy Adams to Edward Livingston. Boston, 1833. 

(In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

31. A Letter on Speculative Masonry, by Charles Pinckney Sumner. Bos- 

ton, 1829. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

32. Ancient Freemasonry Contrasted with Illuminism, or Modern Masonry, 

by Tubal Cain. Utica, 1831. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

33. Address Delivered Before the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, * * * 

by Joseph Jenkins, 1829. Boston, 1830. (In Wis. Hist. Library.) 

34. An Address Delivered before the Members of the Antimasonic State 

Convention, Augusta, Me., July 4, 1832. Moses Thacher. (Pa. 
State Hist. Society.) 

35. Solomon Southwick's Speech. New York State convention, 1829. 

(In New York State Library, Albany. ) 

3x Reply of the Genesee Consociation to Joseph Emerton. 1830. (In 
New York State Library, Albany.) 

Very important for the religious standpoint. 

L. Newspapers. The newspapers furnish the best means 
by which we can get at the political basis of the Antimasonic 
party. To give the complete list of the newspapers would 
result in a volume by itself. I have sought to give a list of 
such as are of greatest use. Many of the newspapers, and 
especially the official organs, publish the laws and the pro- 
ceedings of the legislatures, together with the most important 
debates. An official paper, such as the Albany Argus or the 
Harrisburg Reporter, furnished hardly anything but political 



A 

I 

THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 567 

news, while some of the great city dailies are of but little use 
in this way. In using newspapers, I have tried to compare 
the statements, where possible, of papers representing differ- 
ent factions. I regard this as the only historical method. I 
have included in this list also papers which help us to study 
the religious and social basis of the movement. 

1. Connecticut newspapers: 

Connecticut Courant, Hartford. 

1828, 1830-1834. In New York Public Library. 
Jan., 1828-Dec. 16, 1828. In Library of Congress. 
Hartford Weekly Times. 

Mar. 2, 1829-Dec. 26, 1831. Jan. 7, 1834-May6, 1834. Semi- 
weekly edition, May 10, 1833-Dec. 29, 1838. In Library of 
Congress. 
Columbian Weekly Register. New Haven. 

Jan. 2, 1830-Dec. 29, 1832. Jan. 4, 1834-Dec. 30, 1837. In 

Library of Congress. 
:>. Maine. 

Eastern Argus. Portland. 

Mar. 31,1829-Sept. 18, 1832. Jan. 6, 1833-Dec. 20, 1835. In 

Library of Congress. 
3. Massachusetts. 

Boston Daily Advertiser. 

Jan. 3, 1832-1837. In Library of Congress. 1827-1836. In 
American Antiquarian Library, Worcester, Boston Public 
Library, and Harvard College Library. 
Boston Free Press. 

Jan. 20, 1831-Mar. 19, 1834. In Library of Congress. 

An Antimasonic paper and one of the most important sources not 
only for Massachusetts but the movement throughout the country. 

Boston Recorder. 

1829-1837. In Library of Congress, Boston Public Library, 

and Havard College Library. 
1831-1832. In Wis. Hist. Library. 

A Congregational paper and valuable for occasional references as to 
the attitude of the sect toward the politics of the State. 

Daily Evening Transcript. Boston. 

1831-1836. In American Antiquarian Library, Worcester. 
Oct.-Dec., 1831. Apr. -Sept., 1833. Jan.-Sept., 1834. In 

Wis. Hist. Library. 
Independent Chronicle. Boston. 

1829-1837. In Boston Public Library and Harvard College 

Library. 
1829-1832. 1833-1836. In Wis. Hist. Library. 

A National Republican and Whig paper opposed to the Antimasons 
It published the laws and the proceedings of the legislature. Chief 
source from the Whig side. 



568 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

3. Massachusetts Continued . 

Columbian Sentinel. Boston. 

1828-1837. In Albany State Library, Boston Public Library, 

and Harvard College Library. 
1829-1832. In Wis. Hist. Library. 

A very important National Republican paper opposed to Antimasonry. 

Christian Register. Boston. 

1828-1830. 1833-1839. In Wis. Hist. Library. 

A Unitarian paper important for occasional references as to the atti- 
tude of Unitarians upon Antimasonry. 

Boston Advocate. 

1829-1835. A few scattered copies in the Wis. Hist. Library. 
An Antimasonic semireligious paper, edited by S. D. Greene. It had 
Democratic leanings. 

New England Galaxy. 

1829-Dec. 20, 1834. In Library of Congress. 
1831-1833. In Wis. Hist. Library, 

1829-1835. In American Antiquarian Library, Worcester, 
and in the Boston Public Library. 

A literary magazine of Masonic affiliations. It is not a rabid or dis 
tinctly partisan paper. Useful for occasional references. 

Berkshire Advocate. North Adams. 

Nov. 20, 1833-June, 1834. In Library of Congress. 
Worcester Paladium. 

1834-1837. In Library of Congress. 
Worcester Spy. 

1829-1836. In American Antiquarian Library, Worcester, 
and the Boston Public Library. 

1829-1830. 1831-1837." In Library of Congress. 
Massachusetts Yeoman. 

1828-1837. In American Antiquarian Library. 

Aug. 30, 1828-Aug. 8, 1829. In Library of Congress. 
Valuable for the political views of western Massachusetts. 

Moral Envoy. Fall River. 

1830. In Wis. Hist. Library. 

A rabid Antimasonic paper*. Very useful from a political as well as a 
social standpoint. 

4. Michigan. 

Detroit Courier. 

Feb. 17, 1831-Dec. 22, 1831. In Library of Congress. 
Detroit Free Press. 

Jan. 15, 1832-1835. In Library of Congress; also in Detroit 
Public Library. 

5. New Hampshire. 

New Hampshire Gazette. Portsmouth. 

Jan. 26 1829-Dec. 28, 1830. In Library of Congress. 
New Hampshire Patriot and State Gazette. 

Aug. 17, 1829-1835. In Library of Congress. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 569 

6. New Jersey. 

West Jersey Observer, Bridgeton. 

May 14, 1829-Nov. 21, 1829. 

Jan. 9, 1830-Dec. 25, 1830. 

Jan. 1832-Dec. 28, 1833. In Library of Congress. 
Trenton Emporium. 

Jan. 1, 1830-1835. Tn Library of Congress. 
Jersey man, Morristown. 

Jan. 7, 1832-Dec. 12, 1832; Jan. 2, 1833-Dec. 17, 1834. In 

Library of Congress. 
Newark Daily Advertiser. 

Mar. 28, 1832-Aug. 31, 1832; Jan. 2, 1833-Jan. 30, 1835. In 
Library of Congress. 

7. New York. 

Albany Argus. 

1827-1834. In New York State Library, Albany. 
Jan. 1, 1828-Dec., 1830; Jan. 1, 1832-1834. In Library of 
Congress. 

A Democratic paper, edited by Croswell, one of the Regency. This 
paper is one of the most important sources, as it published the laws and 
legislative proceedings and often the speeches of the members. 

Albany Evening Journal. 

1830-1834. In the office of the Albany Evening Journal, 
Albany, N. Y, 

Thurlow Weed's paper. It was the greatest Antimasonic paper in 
the country. 

Albany Daily Advertiser. 

1827-1834. In ttie office of the Albany Evening Journal. 
Jan. 1-Dec. 31 , 1833. In Library of Congress. The New York 
State Library also has a few numbers. 
A national Republican paper, strongly opposed to Antimasonry. 

National Observer. Albany. 

1827-1831. New York State Library, Albany. 

Edited by Solomon Southwick. A very radical Antimasonic sheet, 
with Democratic leanings. 

Albany Microscope. 

1832-1834. In New York State Library. 
Christian Intelligencer. 

1830-1834. In New York State Library. 
Albany Masonic Record. 

1828-1834. In American Antiquarian Library, Worcester. 
New York American, New York City. 

1827-1834. In American Antiquarian Library, Worcester. 

1831-1833. In New York State Library. 

1827. Boston Public Library. 

1827-1828. In Boston Athemeum. 

May 14, 1831-May 17, 1834. In Library of Congress. 
New York Commercial Advertiser. New York City. 

1827-1829. 1831-1833. In New York State Library, Albany. 



570 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

7. New York Continued. 

New York Courier and Enquirer. 

May 26-Dec. 18, 1830; Jan. 1, 1833-Dec. 30, 1833. In Li- 
brary of Congress. 

1829-1830. Pennsylvania State Library, Harrisburg. 
New York Evening Post, New York City. 

1827-1834. Pennsylvania Historical Library and New York 
Public Library. 

1830. In New York State Library. 
Rochester Observer. 

1827. In New York State Library. 
Rochester Republican. 

Jan. 1-Feb. 26, 1828. Jan. 3, 1832-Aug. 20, 1833. In Library 

of Congress. 
New York Statesman. New York City. 

1827-1834. Harvard College Library. 

1827-1828. New York State Library. 
New York Mirror. New York City. 

1827-1834. Harvard College Library and American Anti- 
quarian Library, Worcester. 
Freeman's Journal. Cooperstown, N. Y. 

1827-1829. 1830-1832. In Wisconsin Historical Library. 
Masonic Intelligencer. Batavia, N. Y. 

Feb. 21, 1827. Wisconsin Historical Library. 
Le Roy Gazette. 

1827. In Wisconsin Historical Library. 

Very important for the early movements, as it was an Antimasonic 
paper. 

Anti-Masonic Review and Magazine. New York. 

1828, 13 numbers. In Wisconsin Historical Library. 

This magazine was edited by Henry Dana Ward. It incidentally 
keeps up with the political movements and is therefore very valuable. 

Craftsman. Rochester. 

A few scattered numbers in New York State Library, Albany. 
The organ of the Western Masons. 

Anti-Masonic Enquirer. Rochester. 

1828-1830. A few scattered numbers in New York State 
Library. 

This paper was edited by Thurlow Weed and is of great value for a 
study of early Antimasonic movements in western New York. 

New York Miscellaneous Papers. 

About 30 volumes in the State Library in Albany. 

They contain occasionally a valuable local paper or fragment. 

8. Ohio. 

Cincinnati Advertiser. 

June 6, 1829-Dec. 25, 1830. Jan. 5, 1833-Dec. 26, 1838. In 

Library of Congress. 
Cincinnati Daily Gazette. 

Jan. 4, 1828-Dec. 31, 1829. Jan. 7, 1833-Dec. 31, 1835. In 
Library of Congress. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 571 

8. Ohio Continued. 

Ohio State Bulletin. Columbus. 

1829-1835. In State Library, Columbus. 

Important for laws, state reports, and legislative proceedings. 

Columbus Sentinel. 

. 1832-1834. In State Library, Columbus. Western Reserve 
Historical Library, Cleveland. 
A leading National Republican paper. 

Hamilton Intelligencer. 

1829-1835. Ohio State Library, Columbus. 
A leading National Republican paper. 

Cincinnati Chronicle. 

1828-1835. State Library, Columbus. 

Cleveland Weekly Herald. 

1829-1835. Western Reserve Historical Library, Cleveland. 

National Historian. St. Clairsville. 
1832. In State Library, Columbus. 

Cincinnati Christian Journal. 

Jan., 1830-July, 1831. In Wis. Hist. Library. 

A Presbyterian paper, important for occasional references to Anti- 
masonry. 

Cincinnati Sentinel. 

Nov. 21, 1829-Sept. 18, 1830. Oct. 30, 1830-Oct. 15, 1831. In 
Library of Congress, 

Ohio Monitor. Columbus. 

1830-1836. In American Antiquarian Library, Worcester. 
Jan. 3, 1831-Dee; 22, 1831. Jan. 3, 1833-Dec. 26, 1836. In 
Library of Congress. 

Ohio State Journal.' ; Columbus. 

1832-1835. In State Library,' Columbus. Also copies in 
Cleveland Public Library and Chicago Historical Library. 
A National Republican paper which gives laws, discussions, etc. 
Devoted largely to politics. 

9. Pennsylvania. 

Statesman and Antimasonic Republican. Harrisburg. 

Apr., 1831-Dec., 1831. Pa. State Library, Harrisburg. 

A very important source for the study of political Antimasonry in 
Pennsylvania. 

Harrisburg Chronicle. 

Feb., 1828-June, 1840. Pa. State Library, Harrisburg. 

A National Republican and Whig paper. After 1836 Nicholas Biddle 
was interested in this paper. It is important especially for the speeches, 
debates, etc., in the Pennsylvania State senate. 

Franklin Repository. Chambersburg. 

1830-1840. Pa. State Library, Harrisburg. 
A bright Whig paper full of political news. 



572 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 



Pennsylvania Intelligencer. Harrisburg. 

Apr., 1831-1840. In Pa. State Library, Harrisburg. 

A Whig paper printing laws, debates, and full of political matter. 

Pennsylvania Reporter. Harrisburg. 

Dec., 1829-Jan., 1836. Jan., 1837-1840. In Pa. State Library, 

Harrisburg. 

Jan. 4, 1828-Dec. 26, 1828. Jan. 4, 1831-Dec. 30, 1836. Jan. 
15, 1836-Aug. 4, 1836. Feb. 3, 1837-Nov. 20, 1840. In 
Library of Congress. 

A most important source in Pennsylvania. It was the State paper and 
the chief Democratic organ. It printed laws, debates, and political 
matter. 

Antimasonic Herald. New Holland, Lancaster County. 

Jan., 1829- Aug., 1832. In Pa. State Library, Harrisburg. 

Edited by Theophilus Fenn. This was a pioneer paper in the cause 
and is especially valuable for the accounts it gives of the Antimasonic 
movements throughout the country. 

Harrisburg Telegraph. 

1832-1837. In Pa. State Library, Harrisburg. 

The leading Antimasonic paper in the State. Edited by Theophilus 
Fenn. It was the official State paper during the Antimasonic regime. 

Harrisburg Gazette. 

1832. In Pa. State Library, Harrisburg. 
A Clay paper supporting Wolf. 

Hazard's Register of Pennsylvania. 

1828-1835. In Pa. State Library, Harrisburg; Wis. Hist. 
Library, and Boston Atheneum, etc. 

Useful for canal reports, governors' messages, State financial reports, 
etc. 

Westmoreland Intelligencer. Greensburg. 

1833-1834. In Pa. State Library, Harrisburg. 

Valuable as an example of an Antimasonic country paper. 

American Sentinel. Philadelphia. 

Jan. 1, 1829-Dec. 31, 1830. Jan. 2, 1832-Dec. 31, 1838, In 
Library of Congress. Pa. State Library, Harrisburg, has a 
file, but it is in such bad shape as to be practically useless. 

American Daily Advertiser. Philadelphia. 
1827-1839. In Library of Congress. 
1829-1832. 1833-1835. 1837-1838. In Wis. Hist. Library. 

American Volunteer. Carlisle. 

Oct., 1831-1840. In Pa. State Library, Harrisburg. 
A bright, country, Democratic paper, full of political news. 

Lancaster Examiner and Herald. 

April 15, 1830- April 30, 1834. In Library of Congress. 

York Gazette. 

May 27, 1828-Sept. 15, 1829. In Library of Congress. 



THE ANTIMASONIC PARTY. 573 

9. Pennsylvania Continued. 
Pittsburg Gazette. 

1829-1840. In Pa. Historical Library, Philadelphia. 

A radical Antimasonic paper, which shows the opinions of the Scotch- 
Irish Presbyterians of western Pennsylvania. 

10. Rhode Island. 

Rhode Island Republican. Newport. 

Jan. 1, 1829-Nov. 19, 1829. Jan. 7, 1830, Dec. 2, 1830. Oct., 
1833-1838. In Library of Congress. 

Republican Herald. Providence. 

Jan. 7, 1833-Dec. 8, 1833. Jan. 3, 1835-1838. In Library of 
Congress. 

11. Vermont. 

Vermont Gazette. Bennington. 

Feb. 9, 1830-Dec. 5, 1832. Jan. 7, 1834-1837. In Library of 
Congress. Nearly a complete file, 1827-1835, in Vermont 
State Library, Montpelier. 

Vermont Intelligencer. Bellows Falls. 

February 25, 1832-February 15, 1834. In Library of Congress. 
1832-1833. In A r ermont State Library, Montpelier. 

Vermont Patriot and State Gazette. Montpelier. 

May 4, June 22, June 29, 1829. August 6, 1832-1837. In 

Library of Congress. 
1830-1833. In Vermont State Library, Montpelier. 

Vermont Argus. Middlebury. 

January 4, 11, February 28, 1832. January 5, 1836-Septem- 
ber 26, 1837. In Library of Congress. 

Burlington Sentinel. 

1827-1830. In American Antiquarian Library, Worcester. 
1830-1837. In Vermont State Library, Montpelier. 

North Star. Danville. 
1827-1836. 

The pioneer Antimasonic paper of the State. 

Vermont Watchman. Montpelier. * , 

1829 and 1831. In Vermont State Library, Montpelier. 
Also in Library of University of Vermont, Burlington. 

A leading National Republican paper, containing important political 
news. 

Vermont State Journal. Montpelier. 

1831-1836. In Vermont State Library, Montpelier. 

An official organ during the Antimasonic regime. Gives the best his- 
tory of Antimasonic movements in the State from an Antimasonic 
standpoint. 

Vermont Chronicle. Windsor. 

1831-1836. In Vermont State Library, Montpelier. Also in 
Library of State University of Vermont, Burlington. 



574 AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. 

1 2. Miscellaneous papers. 

American Free Mason. Louisville, Ky. 

1854. In Wisconsin Historical Library. 

Contains a Masonic account of Antimasonry. It is very useful from 
that standpoint. 

Temperance Recorder. Albany, N. Y. 

March, 1832-February, 1835. In Wisconsin Historical Li- 
brary. 

Important for occasional references as to the views of temperance 
advocates on the subject of Antimasonry. 

Niles Register. Baltimore. 
1827-1840. 

One of the most valuable sources for election accounts, investigations 
speeches, incidents, etc.